Sunday, November 23, 2008

Presidential debates in the future(ama)

Seem like the candidates say the same thing? I have thought this clip from the animated series Futurama (set in the year 3000) hit a little too close to home at times. We definately don't want to end up with "new coke" like this.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

"Republicans Need a Navigator" or "How to Stop Being New Coke"

I have heard a lot of talk from Republicans lately from print, radio, and in-person sources that talk about where the Republican party needs to go from here. How they need to identify themselves, or "brand" themselves, etc.

Some are suggesting a complete change. Others are suggesting that we try to become more open to specific groups. Still others mention that we need to be more center or liberal.

Well, I don't care what they say. This is my boat, and I want to look at this a different way.

In this time of self-evaluation, the Republican party has a rare opportunity to really evaluate itself, decide what it wants to become, and how to best present that. In otherwords, what product do you have and how are you going to market it.

Basic marketing tells you that you need to
  1. Have a product (or service) to sell
  2. Your product must fill a need
  3. You must be able to tell people why your product is better or different from your competitors
Well, since we know we are recreating our product, let us take a look at items two and three to better figure out what our product should be.

Most Americans see the need for political parties, or at least accept them. Third parties have failed because they haven't had a good, marketable product to gather enough attention. That could change if the Republicans do not end up with a good product.

So now that we meet item 2 simply by existing, how do we tell ourselves why we are better than the other products?

Lets take a (simplified) look at an infamous decision. Coca-Cola created the Cola drink. They have a standard and recognizable brand. Pepsi Cola was a late-comer to the game. Pepsi had a great marketing strategy. They would get people to do blind taste tests on the street and call it the "Pepsi Challenge". During this people would famously pick Pepsi over Coke.

In the 1980s, the Coca-Cola Company decided that they would capitalize on this and change their recipe, thereby introducing "New Coke" that tasted more like Pepsi. Well, what happened? I still remember the video on TV of people in San Francisco dumping their New Coke into the gutter in protest.

What went wrong? The polls... er... Pepsi Challenge showed that people preferred the taste of Pepsi. A lot of research went into the new formula.

Well, in my opinion, a few things happened. First of all, by making it taste like Pepsi, you have basically removed a choice from the market. Pepsi or Pepsi tasting Coke (RC is the third party here). Well, why buy the Coke that tastes like Pepsi when you go to the experts and just buy Pepsi itself.

Secondly, there is a large nostalgia factor with Coke. Look today at merchandising of Pepsi branded items vs Coke branded items. Yes, there are a lot of both, but I definately see more people passionate about the Coke brand than the Pepsi brand. Besides, Coke has Santa Claus.

Now, back to the republicans. If the republicans go and try to be more liberal, or weaken themselves while trying to be more inclusive, they are going to just be New Coke... why go Republican when you can get the real thing from the Democrats?

No. Republicans instead need to get back to the roots of this county. Teach and reemphasize the basic fundamentals of Life and Liberty. Focus on what this country and its people do best. Focus on empowerment, opportunity, and self-reliance.

I will talk more on these in the future, but now is the time to be pure, and be strong. People will come to strong, non-exclusive leadership. We don't need to try to convince people of that core, just teach what that core is and they will make their own decision to follow.

We don't need another New Coke.

How a year goes...

A year flies by so fast.. especially when others are steering your ship! The year isn't over yet, but I am tired of just sitting by.

There are things to be told! I want to tell the world -- or at least those who read this blog -- what I am feeling, how I think, etc. This is why I started this and I have let it go for far too long. No more.

With the way this country is acting these days, I have a lot to say. I no longer care if it is "politically correct", or what the others are saying. Sometimes, I may say the same thing, or completely agree with other bloggers. Other times, I may be the lone captain. In either case, this blog is entitled "How Hannon Sees the World" for a reason. I am not going to be apologetic for it any longer.

So I sail again. All passengers are welcome. Deckhands appreciated. Navigators need not apply.