There has been a great debate in The Roanoke Times and The RoundTable blog over whether GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s business experience would make him a good president. Adam Hanft, a brand strategy consultant, asks a different question in an article for The Atlantic: Does Romney’s business background make him a less effective candidate?
Hanft argues that Romney has made a ton of money because he is adept at the kind of orderly, rational analysis necessary to be successful in private equity investments. But what Hanft calls Bain Brain doesn’t translate well into the emotional, gut-driven world of politics. He writes:
That was precisely the species of unflinching analysis on display in his now famous remarks about the 47 percent, revealed by secretly recorded video. That was the Bain Brain at work — a classic example of segmentation and market analysis, now applied to a political setting.
Widgets are different from people, but Romney analyzes both with a “cut-your-losses and double-down on the ‘addressable market’ voice of private equity,” Hanft argues. A businessman doesn’t have to worry about whether widgets like him. Politics requires a different marketing approach. Hanft believes Romney is naturally suspicious of “branding,” pointing to the campaign’s conservative advertising expenditures. And he notes that what ads the candidate is producing lack a storyline and an element of myth-making.
Regardless of which candidate you think is best qualified to be in the White House, this article is an interesting read.