Brand It Like Barack!

Do you care or are curious about politics?, or

Do you feel that you or your business are just one of the “nameless masses” (e.g., job-seekers, local politicians, professionals, small-business owners)?, or

Do you ever wonder about the “tricks” marketers use to sell you?  THEN

Keep Reading,

Otherwise, you probably won’t find too much of interest here.  This site is dedicated to better understanding the marketing techniques President Obama used in his presidential campaign and what we can all learn from them.

On January 16, 2007, Barack Obama announced to his supporters that he would seek the presidency of the United States.  On November 4, 2008 he achieved that dream.  Who could have predicted the meteoric rise of the relatively unknown Junior Senator from Illinois to become the first African American elected President of the United States?  Entering a crowded Democratic field against entrenched competition, how was Barack Obama able win his party’s nomination and dominate the general election?  While many are curious as to how Barack Obama was able to accomplish his victory in such short order, the answers are there for the taking.  There really is no magic to what he did, but if you don’t know what to look for it may seem like that!  Barack Obama used classic and modern marketing principles to elevate his brand above the crowd to win. Following these principles, you can as well.

The story of Barack Obama will become legendary because of the many lessons it teaches.  In fact, the successful rise of Barack Obama is based on the effective use of classic storytelling and branding principles which, with knowledge and practice, can be applied by anyone looking to dominate his or her market.

The meteoric rise of Barack Obama was not only the groundbreaking election of an African American candidate to the highest post in the country, but also an application of basic principles of marketing and branding that anybody can use to propel themselves from obscurity to dominance in their market. What sets apart market leaders from also-rans is the ability of people and organizations to successfully brand themselves in the face of competition and shifting cultural norms that are constantly affecting our world.

Brand It Like Barack outlines the steps that Barack Obama and his campaign successfully followed to win the presidency. While there has been and will be debate on the politics of Barack Obama, few could argue about the stunning success of his presidential campaign.  Strategically using available assets combined with contextual cues allowed him to understand the needs of his market (the voters) while creating a persona that inspired and motivated his followers to not only vote for him, but to aggressively market him themselves.  Inspiring fierce loyalty from his audience, Obama successfully was able spread his message at internet speed to overwhelm his competition, winning his party’s presidential nomination and ultimately the general election.  Barack Obama won the presidency of the United States because he successfully used these and other principles discussed in this book.  If you’re curious how Obama did it, or if you’re looking to establish a name for yourself in whatever you do, read this book.

Read the first chapter here for free! Brand It Like Barack Chapter 1

Buy the book here!

Media Appearances

Here is where you may have seen or heard Gary speak:

5/15/10 – Faculty remarks to the graduates: Moravian College Commencement (posted with permission: Moravian College)

6/4/10 – WNWR-AM 1540 Philadelphia – “Bob Rovner Talks to the Stars”

7/22/10 – Stars of PR with Cindy R.

7/23/10 – Main Street Matters (posted with permission) Adrienne D. Graham / CC BY-ND 3.0

9/17/10 – Sherman Baldwin Show – WTMY-1280 – Sarasota, FL

9/22/10 – Dresser After Dark

9/28/10 – Steve Deace show – WHO-1040 – Des Moines, IA

9/29/10 – Yorks Morning News with Gary Sutton and Jim Horn – WSBA-910 – York, PA

10/02/10 – Doug Clifford Show – WSKY-FM – Gainesville, FL

10/18/10 – Sherman Baldwin Show – WTMY-1280 – Sarasota, FL

10/19/10 – Fox 1270 in the Morning with Panama – KBZZ – 1270 – Reno, NV

10/24/10 – Perspectives with Barry Shainbaum – CJTW – 94.3 – Kitchener, Ont.

10/27/10 – Richard Antolucci show – WNJC – 1360 – Philadelphia, PA

10/28/10 – Talk of the Town with Mike Walsh – WUTZ – B95.5 – Utica, NY

10/29/10 – That Marketing Show – Cincinnatti, OH

11/01/10 – Wibitz Steuart Show – KAOI – 95.1 – Wailuki, HI

11/02/10 – Ron Ross Show – WJBC,  Bloomington-Normal, IL

11/09/10 – Fringes Radio Show – AM 1400 – Provo, UT

12/07/10 – York’s Morning News with Gary Sutton and Jim Horn  – WSBA 910, York, PA

01/17/11 – Dan Manley, Mornings on Main – WMST, Kentucky

01/31/11 – After Midnight with Rick Barber – 850 KOA, Denver, CO

02/16/11 – “Brainstormin with Billy the Brain” – KKZZ-AM 1400, Ventura County, CA

Articles that have featured Gary:

Moravian Students Developing Brand Campaigns for Five Lehigh Valley Organizations

“More than 400 saluted at Moravian College Graduation” – The Express-Times (5/16/10)

“Commencement 2010 a Shining Day” InCommon – (6/10)

“Mary Young: Obama voters and buyer’s remorse” – The Reading Eagle (7/3/10)

“Obama built a brand to sell himself to America” – Eastern Pennsylvania Business Journal (7/5/10)

“Lady Gaga: Queen of samplers Pop superstar borrows from the best” – Arizona Republic (7/25/10)

“Obama has strayed from campaign message” – The Morning Call (7/26/10)

“Obama on ‘The View’: ratings blockbuster or presidential epitaph?” – The Christian Science Monitor (7/28/10)

“Time and Money” – Albany Times Union (8/29/10)

“Name-brand:  Furniture design by the famous” – The Denver Post (9/4/10)

“New book on branding offers timely lessons” – InCommon (9/8/10)

“Pharmacies seek boost from flu shots” – Eastern Pennsylvania Business Journal (9/20/10)

Is Obama Judged Too Harshly?” – (9/23/10)

“Faculty Highlight:  Kaskowitz “Brands it Like Barack” – The Comenian (10/7/10)

“Professor writes book on the marketing of Obama” – Parkland Press (10/14/10)

Microtank:  The Science of Branding” – Gnosis Arts –  Microtank, The Think Tank for Microbusiness (10/17/10)

Microtank: Science of Branding, Part II” – Gnosis Arts –  Microtank, The Think Tank for Microbusiness (10/24/10)

Psychographic Marketing is Serious Business” – Cvent Survey (11/12/10)

Social Media and the Magazine Publisher” by CM Arnold, Cvent  Survey (2/18/11)

Resources for you…

If you would like to learn more about the topics discussed in “Brand It Like Barack!”, please check out the following resources:

Why We Buy


Names in the News

Anyone who is running for any kind of Office should read this book” – Dan Janal, speaker and author of “Dan Janal’s Guide to Marketing on the Internet”,

Reader Reviews

Satisfied customers

“Leave it to a marketing man to get it right!  Political pundits aplenty have dissected, diagnosed and deliberated on the incredible political rise of a largely unknown community activist, turned senator, turned President of the United States, Barack Obama. Leave it to a marketing man to get it right! Gary Kaskowitz in `Brand It Like Barack’, applies the tools of market analysis to unmask the sophisticated and skillfully executed marketing plan of the Obama campaign -a campaign capable of creating an irresistible candidate `brand’ for the majority of American voters. American consumer, by and large savvy to the world of product marketing, will be surprised by clear application of product marketing techniques to the branding of a political candidate for the nation’s highest office. Well organized with lively, crisp writing make the politically neutral , `Brand it like Barack’ both an enjoyable book to read, but also a manual of twenty-first century marketing techniques. In an age of complex, instantaneous and overwhelming information flows the importance of strong `brand’ creation is paramount for consumers and businesses. As Kaskowitz demonstrates it is vital for voters and political candidates as well. Brand it Like Barack’, book it to the top of my best books of the summer reading list. —- James West, Ph.D. , Professor of Economics and International Management – From Amazon Reviews

I was first elected as a Democratic committeeman in 1959. I frankly never thought of how important Democratic candidates really planned to get elected to office. This book gave me an insight at a different level of thinking about the election of candidates for political office. It is a “must” read for those interested in how politicos get elected and should be a required read for those that wish to succeed in business.” -Pennsylvania Elected Democratic Committeeman – From Amazon reviews

Just started reading and cannot stop! As someone who has a strong interest in marketing, I find this book to be entrancing, insightful, and most importantly, extremely readable. Definitely a must read for anyone who has an interest in branding — from enthusiasts to professionals and small business owners. Definitely one that I will be recommending it to everyone I know. Excellent.” – from Facebook fan page

“Gary’s book is phenomenal. He not only gives insight to to the whole Obama phenomenon, he enlightened me about the best marketing practices available in a way even I could understand. Gary is a master of the art of communication. I am fortunate to know him personally and can attest that he is not only brilliant, but, insightful and a first class professor.

Anyone interested in “knowing yourself” in terms of how one presents ones’ self in the market place of ideas will grow significantly from this book. I am a rabbi and everything in Gary’s book can be applied here in my synagogue and I am going to discuss the book with my Board.Any organization or business which want to excel must read this book.

There is no question that Gary is right on in his analysis and conclusions about the Obama campaign. He takes the essential idea of “to thine own self be true,” and the principles of marketing and connects them with a fluid writing style and excellent insight. I also loved that Gary gives mini-summaries after sections to reinforce the detailed material he shares.

This is a how to book for anyone looking to promote themselves in the most respectful and positive ways. Way to go Gary!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” – Rob Lennick

“Recently I purchased a wonderful little tome, Brand It Like Barack! by Gary Kaskowitz, a professor at Moravian College. How refreshing to read a book that keeps one’s interest, accurately defines marketing principles, gives real-life examples of companies and people who took advantage of these marketing tools, and is worded so that almost anyone can comprehend and utilize the techniques that our president employed in his meteoric rise to popularity and ultimately the presidency!

Kaskowitz states that “emotional marketing trumps rational marketing.” What a powerful statement that is evidenced multiple times in our daily lives; the key to Oprah’s phenomenal success was also in her ability to emotionally relate to and elicit emotions from her guests–whether they be superstars, soccer moms, or hockey moms.

As a counselor and as a life coach this book holds universal truths that have helped me work with people of all ages in their quest for personal growth or the growth of their companies. As the owner of a cleaning business as well as a therapeutic massage business—if I were interested in growing either of these small entities I would employ one or more of Kaskowitz’ numerous tips. How could one go wrong by trying to understand and deliver to one’s audience? In business, when one is stagnant or accepting the status quo, it is recognized that the business is well on its way to being defunct.

This little gem appeals to many audiences–counselors, teachers, business owners and the ubiquitous entrepreneurs, as well as those in politics or those just interested in politics. A must read about how an obscure individual rose in record time to President of the US. Guess there was some truth, after all, when dads would tell their sons that they could be “anything they wanted, even the president of the United States.” – Lori Skripek

“In the midst of reading Brand It Like Barack! I feel compelled to compose my thoughts on this book so that others will pick it up and benefit from it as well. The author explains the importance of building community support and an audience base when one wants to start or grow a business or win a political race. Getting community members to commit to you, your cause, or your business is crucial – even if they do small things that culminate in your ultimate success. This author packs so many ideas into this easy-flowing paperback book, that are applicable to entrepreneurs around the world. This makes Brand It Like Barack! a must read for small business owners, politicians, and generally anyone working with the public who wants to advance their careers. This is a cool “handbook” that is already changing the way I see things, and it is allowing me to analyze marketing principles occurring around me for their effectiveness.” – Chris Brian Horn

What the media is saying about Brand It Like Barack!

“…The book is an easy read. Anyone can use the marketing tips it provides.  People in politics or interested in politics, students, job seekers, business professionals and anyone who wants a better understanding of how marketing works would find it helpful…” – from The Reading Eagle

“…Brand It Like Barack! shows how Barack Obama ‘sold himself to America’ and what the book’s readers can learn from him.  The book takes a non-partisan approach to study how Barack Obama built a brand around himself to sell himself as the next American President…” – from The Eastern Pennsylvania Business Journal

“…The six-step system presented in the book is all about research-based, relationship-oriented marketing principles—not politics: ‘We all market ourselves—you might as well do it well’…” – from InCommon magazine