2 things Leni Robredo should do to win
will leni robredo get a boost after Mar Roxas has announced she is his VP running mate and most specially after president Noynoy Aquino endorsed her candidacy? mar roxas got a tremendous boost when Aquino anointed Roxas – from being a far 4th in the surveys, his ranking jumped to a tie at 2nd or a close 3rd.
robredo is nowhere in the polls – a very far 5th to not registering at all in another. getting her rank within the top 3 means Aquino’s endorsement do have super powers. the next survey results will be very important to Robredo, it will define her as a legitimate candidate.
survey results notwithstanding, Robredo has 2 huge but very basic marketing things that she needs to do to win:
- address low awareness on a national level – robredo may be known in here hometown and to some degree in Metro Manila but she is hardly known in the rest of the country. that is a key issue as the position she is running for is national in scope, she needs the rest of the country to know who she is.
- what is the Leni Robredo brand equity or brand positioning? together with the issue of low awareness, Robredo’s other big problem and this can be much bigger than the first is nobody knows what she stands for. what is her brand equity or brand positioning of Robredo?
awareness is the first problem that needs to be solved, the next one is brand positioning. they can be done at the same time. the first can be solved with heavy advertising and heavy exposure to the voters. i would think Robredo needs to be seen and be with the voters every day until election time. her media team ought to be the best among all the candidates to get her in the press.
in many ways that is the easier part than the second one – brand positioning. brand positioning involves defining who she is, differentiating versus the other VP candidates, being preferred over any of them and most specially to appeal to the voters.
those are classic and pretty basic marketing needs but that is very difficult to do in politics. among many other things, in politics, you are given only 1 chance to get it right or at times twice if you get lucky. in marketing mass consumer products, you get as many times as your budget will allow you and over whatever period of time your P&L can accommodate. no such thing in politics. in politics there is a finite deadline that will not move and you only get a chance only once – by election day. getting it right the first time will be critical and based on your observations, if you get it right the first time, you will need a rehash or an improvement towards the end of the campaign after your competition has responded to your first effort.
Robredo in some way has started defining her brand equity and this is centered on the use of the tsinelas as core visual and core thinking. we saw on twitter a few of the visuals that expressed that idea which we thought was a very good choice and had very good applications.
we thought the use of the tsinelas was a very smart idea. not only does everyone know what it is, every Filipino owns at least one pair of tsinelas. it is what we use at home on a daily basis and for many of us it is the only kind of footwear we own. the population of the philippines is mostly made of the poor, with very little money to even buy food on a daily basis, the tsinelas is the only footwear many could afford to buy.
the tsinelas is an ownable idea and visual – nobody has used it and it was often used by Robredo’s late husband, Jesse. he was known to use his tsinelas to work as mayor in Naga and when he was appointed by Aquino as DILG chief. back in Naga, his constant use of the tsinelas was known as his brand of governance – down to earth, poor-oriented and always being with the people. the tsinelas was the well-loved trademark of Jesse Robredo.
Levi’s use of the tsinelas declares to the voters that just like her husband Jesse, it is also her own brand of governance.
it also helps that the execution of the tsinelas as a visual in her meme materials was excellently done. it is unobtrusive, tastefully done but dominantly catches attention. the yellow color of the tsinelas uses the same color Cory used an her son president Noynoy and the Daang Matuwid group.
this is a good beginning for Robredo but we are hoping this will not end here and that it will evolve to something more substantive in the near future.
she needs to be more substantive than just the tsinelas idea as she is against other candidates who have been on the national stage and wth stronger good or bad credentials. more importantly, she is running for the position of the vice-president, the second highest position in the country and the expectations are much higher than being an HOR rep of a district in the Bicol area.
and she needs to do this quickly, election time is coming. the time is short and she needs to get it across in such a wide area in short period of time. we think she will need very high advertising spending to achieve this.
is robredo up to the challenge of the big time?