How do you know the Republican Party has a brand problem? Because after three days of speaking to conservatives at CPAC, the Conservative Political Action Conference, nearly every one of them, when talking about the Republicans, made a point of clarifying that they are not Republicans, but they are conservatives (unless they said “libertarians”).
It’s one thing if conservatives don’t go out of their way to correct people who refer to them as Republicans. But when conservatives go out of their way, unsolicited, to make sure you know they are not Republicans, than the Party has a serious brand problem.
And why wouldn’t they, after decades of the Democrat Party doing an excellent job branding the Republican Party with no push back or opposition from the Republicans, who would want to admit they even vote for Republicans.
Democrats have made it very clear on an hourly basis that the Republican Party is the home of racism, sexism, Islamophobia, homophobia, and dozens of the other top isms and phobias. With those traits as your descriptors, who would willingly identify with it.
It’s no secret the Republican Party has the worst marketing in the history of marketing, as we’ve made clear here many times, and potentially the best proof is just to what extent, and how pervasive, disavowing affiliation with the party is amongst those who should be its rock solid base: conservatives.
The only options left for them are to start actively defining themselves for what they really are or change their brand entirely and start over again.