When your business’ reputation sucks, what do you do? Re-brand it!
Jon Taplin reckons American business is hoping to revive “Brand USA” by supporting Barack Obama as a presidential candidate. In Reviving Brand America, he says:
It is getting very hard to be an American company in much of the world (see photo). Whenever they are pissed off in Karachi, they burn down the KFC. George Bush’s War has made competing against European and Chinese manufacturers like wrestling with one arm tied behind your back. So like any smart CEO, the elite has decided we need a re-branding of America with a charismatic man of colour at the front.
Exhibit A is the New York Post’s endorsement of Obama this morning. I would take it as a given, that Rupert Murdoch saw this editorial before it was published. Exhibit B is MSNBC. I promise you, Chris Matthews and Keith Olbermann would not be given the free rein to criticize both Hillary and Republican hypocrisy, unless Jeff Immelt, CEO of GE had not given the OK. I obviously think this is a rational move on the part of American business — and I know its not like they all met at some private club to decide this. I just think this is the consensus vision, well outlined by Andrew Sullivan a couple of months ago.
But is American business that concerned with their nation’s international image? Or is Taplin spot on?
Indeed, was the success of Kevin Rudd in Australia’s 2007 election partially the result of our stagnant image overseas?