Bye, Bye American Pie?

3 JANUARY 2022

Today is day 1 of year 2 for President Biden.

But let’s not dwell on the past. Clearly, Joe Biden inherited a very broken brand as viewed from outside the US. Today, you could say that brand is also broken within the US because of a lack of soli­darity. The atomisation of Americans is undermining Brand USA.

Brand trust is built on consistency. If you have a very inconsistent set of brand advocates, which Americans are, then you can’t project a consistent view to the world. If a company isn’t aligned around the values for which it stands, then it can’t project an honest view to the world, and that applies here, at least today.

Consider Trump (I know, we weren’t going to dwell). He was – and still is – very clear about who his ‘customer’ was and didn’t really care about appealing to those who didn’t like him because he knew he would never convert them as fans. Ergo, you focus on the advocates that really like what you do. Sometimes that strategy works. There are plenty of brands in that camp, especially in the world of luxury goods and servic­es or, ironically, at the other end of the spectrum such as Ryanair. You could argue that Trump is the Ryanair of the American political marketplace.

The difference is, of course, that while you can choose which airline you will fly, you can’t easily undo which pres­ident of the United States takes office, even if they are impeached. So Biden, unlike most presidents before him, inherited a brand that requires a turn­around both domestically and interna­tionally which can give Brand USA more unity and consistency.


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