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The U.S. 'We Don’t Negotiate' Brand
By: Cindy Wendland
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Have you watched Air Force One with Harrison Ford? He plays the role of the President of the United States and repeatedly states, over and over, “We don’t negotiate with terrorists.” Yet as the plot unfolds, his family is at risk and he folds to the terrorist demands.

Recently, the U.S. swapped five Taliban prisoners for an American sergeant who had been captive in Afghanistan for five years. This runs counter to the U.S.’s position of not negotiating with terrorists. That is one strong element of the U.S. brand. To change that position is confusing, dangerous, strange?!

Obviously, a government manages their brand strategy differently than a consumer goods company. An important component in branding is consistency. People expect the same from a brand; the same quality, the same response, the same everything. Companies communicate a change via a new release or a product relaunch. Governments communicate policy changes via press conferences.

This swap doesn’t appear to be a policy change, just an inconsistency in their strategy.

The end of the Air Force One movie has a happy ending as the President is able to call back the bad guy. That is Hollywood. This is the real world. Will the U.S. position on swapping an American soldier for five Taliban prisoners have a happy ending? Hope so.

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About the Author
Cindy Wendland has a background in marketing and finance. She is the creative director for an online men's health magazine, BrainBrawnBody.com, and she gets to write their leisure/travel blog. She is also a web designer helping her clients with online community engagement, websitesbywendland.com. Prior to her web years, she worked in pharmacy consulting.
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