Why can’t the Democrats sell their product??

Posted on October 20, 2010 by



Everyone has been talking about Obama’s unkempt promises and the crumbling Democratic Party. There is no doubt that the fire behind the Democratic-voting electorate in 2008 is nothing more than a candle flame today. After many class discussions and even more readings, it seems that there are endless reasons behind why this election may be a failure for the Dems. Lack of voter excitement is obvious and can be seen to the naked eye. There are no longer canvassers running around campus with candidate stickers and the news has been highlighting the GOP and Tea Party far more than any Democratic candidate. You know it is bad when volunteers/interns for these candidates are down and struggling. I went into the Arapahoe County Democrats office a few days ago to find the place empty. There were maybe 3 volunteers making phone calls. Last time I was there doing volunteer work for the Obama campaign, the place was full and lively. Of course, you can’t expect the volunteers to be motivated when the interns running the volunteer work are just as down. One of the volunteers made it clear that all they were trying to do now is not to lose an election, which is a completely different tune from hope, change, and whatever else was in the air in 2008.

After looking through the news, I found an article which offers an explanation behind this lack of excitement on the Dem front. Best of all, they compare the Democratic Party to IBM computer sales. Didn’t think they were similar? Apparently they are!

“Do individuals feel like your brand is relevant to their lifestyle? … Or, as they wander from store to store, do your potential customers forget your brand as it blurs in their minds with those of competitors? The solution? Immersive retail: a memorable, interactive and emotional experience full of personalized dialogues. It’s more about involving the customer than it is about the merchandise.”

The article argues that young people (primarily the first time voters) were captured by the election experience as opposed to the campaign promises. Same could go for computer sales. The box could say it’s fast, has infinite internal memory and so on. But if consumers purchase the computer and after a month of use are unhappy, they will be running into the store with their receipts faster than the company could improve their systems. So why are the independent voters (and some Dem voters) bringing back their receipts and demanding an exchange? Even more, why are young voters just leaving the “product” untouched to collect dust? Well, we could say that the specs on the box did not match those of the product. Nor did the Democratic Party attempt to cater to the young voters this time around. As IBM would put it, the Dems aren’t “involving the customer”. It seems that elections haven’t been progressing along with the times as quickly and efficiently as they should.  Sure, candidates may have a Facebook or Twitter page, but how will that create those emotions that got young people voting in the first place?
http://www.prospect.org//cs/articles?article=the_experience_gap  )


Young voters don’t spend their hours in front of the TV watching CNN or Fox. They especially don’t spend their days searching for unbiased news and analyzing the facts and figures behind candidates. It’s no longer a matter of what you did years ago. The top question is what will you do for us now? Unfortunately, anything “boring” doesn’t quite do the job anymore either. I did not see a single young person   volunteering at the Dem office that day. I can’t quite draw a conclusion from that alone since I have not been checking back religiously to see if anything has picked up or changed. Judging by the small number of young people at the Early Voting Democratic Rally, I think the Democrats only hope now is the middle-aged voter. If the Democrats want to take this one, they will have to cater to a different crowd. Maybe it’s time to take a lesson from the retail world. Make your politics appealing, make them exciting, and make them the next biggest thing. The energy and drive is nowhere to be found in the Democratic Party. As a consequence, their driving forces (the young voters) are now just a small following. Maybe it’s time to integrate some PR into the political science field?