Think of it in terms of transitive branding: Brands need packaging. Candidates are brands. So candidates need packaging. Or appropriate clothing at any rate. But there’s been a lot of controversy around the Republican National Committee spending $150,000 on Sara Palin’s campaign wardrobe. Some folks think it’s part of the cost of running for office, others think it’s a little much. We’ll leave the judging to you.
But the latter opinion was brutally reinforced when Michelle Obama appeared on “The Tonight Show,” beautifully turned out in an outfit that cost. . . wait for it. . . $340! “You can get some good stuff online,” Mrs. Obama said. And the online site she had gotten this outfit was JCrew.
This was of particular interest to us as JCrew ranks #2 in our 2008 Customer Loyalty Engagement Index survey. For Republican, Democratic, and Independent loyalists among you, other, similar brands ranked as follows:
- L.L. Bean
- J. Crew
- Eddie Bauer/Land's End (tie)
- Chadwick's of Boston
- Coldwater Creek
So is it fair to say that in this instance the RNC was a tish liberal? Perhaps, but it is, after all, the office of Vice President they’re campaigning for. And they can take some solace in the wisdom of Mark Twain, who noted, “Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.”