NRAIn writing this piece, I am not making any judgements, pro or con, about the NRA and its agenda or about the members of the Senate and House that owe their election successes to their allegiance to the NRA. I intend to point out the elements in their overall strategy that make for a strong Brand.

What does the NRA deliver and how do they deliver it?

The NRA delivers Congressional seats to candidates who support their agenda. And if, as a member of the House or the Senate, you continue to support their agenda, chances are you get to keep your seat for as long as term limits allow. They also deliver a resonant message to a large portion of society that shares their point of view, and thereby creates the voting power that becomes the NRA’s “product.” This, by the way, is not much different, conceptually, from any Internet tech product company that monetizes itself by giving away their product and, in so doing, creating a large enough audience to attract advertisers and a large volume of advertising revenue.

The NRA’s Brand strategy and how they have executed it has resulted in having one of the strongest Brands in the United States. In their area of interest they are arguably more powerful than Congress itself.

Their strategy is simple, their focus is laser-like and their execution is flawless.

They have built a strong following of people (spelled v o t e r s) collectively adding up to around half the voting population in the country that supports their views and positions. Those people are not their customers; they are their product. Their votes literally insure the election of candidates who pledge to support legislation aligned with the NRA’s views. Their customers are Congressional candidates and presently sitting members of Congress.

The NRA has created and continues to create strong, compelling messages that appeal to their constituents and give members of Congress the “talking points” needed to frame arguments supportive of NRA positions. As long as the members continue to support the NRA’s positions, they continue to receive support in the form of votes and campaign contributions. Failing to support NRA positions can result in losing the next election.

The NRA gets the money it needs to build its Brand strength from people who support its views, and gun manufacturers.

It’s, simple, brilliant and well executed. Look at the most recent results. The massacre of children and faculty members at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut could not budge Senators aligned to with the NRA to even consider expanded background checks, because they might make it more “inconvenient” for law abiding citizens to acquire guns. When inconvenience trumps saving lives, you know you have a strong Brand.

The Lessons:

  1. Become and remain laser clear on what you deliver and how you deliver it.
  2. As long as you are achieving your goals, do not be distracted by outside influences that try to take you away from your mission and the things that make and keep your Brand strong.
  3. Continuously monitor your message and your behavior; adapt to changes in the marketplace so as to be currently relevant to your customers without changing the fundamental nature of your Brand.
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