Politico reports that the Nancy Pelosi brand has problems, so she has asked Steven Spielberg to help her out. Companies often think they can fix their brands by tinkering at with their image—a new logo, a name change, a new statement of purpose. The problem is that brand isn’t something so superficial as image. Brand is reputation, and reputation is something earned over time. You can’t just put a fresh coat of lipstick on a pig and hope people forget it’s a pig (and I am NOT saying Nancy Pelosi is a pig).
Nancy Pelosi’s brand is in trouble. Like her or loathe her, her brand positioning is abundantly clear. The problem isn’t that Nancy’s brand is misunderstood; it’s that it is deeply, deeply unpopular. Her partisan style hasn’t helped. The indelible image of Nancy marching on Capital Hill with giant gavel and her ram-it-through approach are core, true, unchangeable parts of her brand.
Fixing the Nancy Pelosi brand would require foundational change in her style and beliefs. Is that truly something she wants to do? The expertise of Steven Spielberg and a few new suits cannot help her unless she makes genuine and radical changes. Nancy Pelosi should embrace who she is and stay true to herself. The market is incredibly unforgiving to brands that are not genuine.
More on personal brands and rebranding:
The Michael Vick Brand: Lessons from Martha Stewart and Tiger Woods
When a Brand is a Person
AIG Name Change to AIU