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March 14, 2013

On Branding and Self-Ghettoization

Allen G., who doesn't have a blog but probably should, wrote:

Actually, I like that idea of a speaking circuit [of sending conservatives out to speak on college campuses]. And specifically of bloggers and "minor players." Further, you need a group that is not directly linked to any of the Conservative players.

Then, it's not "The College Republicans Hosting [Whomever]," rather it's "The Open Ideas Society* Hosting [Whomever]."

This is a hobbyhorse of mine. The left never brands itself as the Left or Liberal, does it? No, they brand themselves for everyone.

We need to start doing that. For example, we shouldn't have an organization named "League of Conservative Women." (There is no such league; this is a for-instance.) We should have a "League of Women," period. Not just for "conservative women." But for all women.

We tend to brand ourselves -- and worse yet, we've internalized this to the point where we think of ourselves this way -- as "the conservative alternative."

We need start branding ourselves as, and thinking of ourselves as, the Universal Default.

This is how leftists do it and they're quite effective at it. On every cable TV show we see a debate between an "expert" and a "conservative." The "expert" is actually liberal but he insists on not being branded as such, so he becomes just "the expert."

Just in terms of the introductions, who's winning that debate? The expert (nonpolitical and learned to such an extent as to be an "expert") or the conservative (a guy coming on TV to sell you on an ideology, who, gee whiz, isn't even an expert in the subject matter)?

Every decision point is a possible failure point. Every step in a seduction or a sale (pardon this analogy) which requires a yes or no response is a possible failure point in the process.

Right up front, right from Jump Street, we give the world its first yes/no decision/failure point by identifying as conservative (or permitting the media to so brand us). Right way, there's a potential failure point, because we're asking first "Do you like conservative ideas or don't you?" Some say yes, but others say No, and thus the sale/seduction fails at the "Can I talk with you a moment?" phase.

The liberal cruises right on by that point because he hasn't asked for a decision. He didn't introduce himself as a "Liberal" trying to make a sale or get you into bed. He's just an Expert giving you some Expert Opinion, you know.

How can you say no to that? Golly jeepers, usually you'd have to pay $200 per hour for that sort of thing, and this guy's giving it to you gratis!!!

Now, the "Expert" can fail later but he can't fail over the first decision point because he's avoided the decision point entirely.

On the other hand, we can fail before we even say a word.

I continue to think that Arnold Schwarzenegger -- whatever else you think of him -- gave one of the most persuasive speeches I've ever heard at the 2004 Republican National Convention. Notice he never asks a question here (well, he puts it in the "If you believe..." form, but that's essentially a question) that almost anyone could say "No" to. It's instead a series of questions which 90% of the public would say "Yes" to. He rhetorically avoids all the Decision/Failure points.


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posted by Ace at 04:56 PM

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