Personal brand image is everything in U.S. politics. Policy aside, a candidate’s brand and how they are perceived by constituents and pundits can singlehandedly secure success or a cement an election day failure.
Hillary Clinton, the former First Lady and Secretary of State, is well known for and often mocked for her commitment to the pantsuit. The media often paints her as being dissociating and snobbish for this signature wardrobe choice.
Clinton’s election campaign website has launched a new ‘Everyday Pantsuit Tee’ rebranding effort to display her lighter side while playing off the pantsuit image. The aim of the campaign is to bring attention to Clinton’s relatable side while rebranding her as down-to-earth and accessible to the general public. Instead of ditching the pantsuit completely, Hillary Clinton was able to soften her image while reintroducing the pantsuit as a continued part of her brand but now on her own terms.
While the Everyday Pantsuit Tee is an effective way of grabbing media attention and beginning to soften Clinton’s brand image, is it enough to accomplish the goal? Clinton’s campaign may need to take further steps if this is to be part of a larger rebranding attempt – bringing a whole new meaning to casual Friday will not be enough alone.