The recent surprise Democratic House candidate election of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who at 28, could potentially be the youngest woman ever elected to Congress, by 15% over incumbent Joe Crowley who led by 36%, was a lesson for us all in being attuned to the preferences of our target audiences or market.
It was also a great lesson in political personal branding.
There were likely a number of factors that attributed to her win – complacency by Crowley, the shift in voter demographics, use of different media, clear messaging that resonated. For me, was what we saw in the candidates last-minute videos;
From the New York Times: (link to full article);
“At the end of May, Ms. Ocasio-Cortez released a two-minute biographical video that went viral, the latest instance of this “girl from the Bronx,” as she called herself, catching fire on social media.
Her video and a competing three-minute clip that Mr. Crowley released days before the election told the story of the race.
She rode subway trains in hers. He drove a car in his.
Mr. Crowley fawned over his district’s diversity and pitched himself as an ally. “The one thing about my life experience,” he said in the opening, “is the ability to put myself in other people’s shoes.” She pitched herself as a member of the community itself.
His video had fewer than 90,000 views on Twitter by Primary Day. Hers had more than 500,000.”
When it comes to your personal brand can you check off the following?
- Clear about what you stand for and what you don’t.
- Easy to understand messaging and communications.
- Use of the right mediums that your audience wants to access.
- Authenticity. Vulnerability. Emotional connection.
Imagine that you are in the next house representative race, except it’s for your job or the next piece of business, Your ‘competition’ is a smart savvy millennial who checks off all of the above and more. How are you going to stand out for the right reasons – RIGHT NOW?!