Crimea and the Branding of Obama and Putin

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The Crimea incident isn’t by accident; it was a well thought out plan used not only as a land grab, but more importantly used by Vladimir Putin to brand and position the two world leaders.

I was watching the news and it occurred to me that the timing of the Crimea takeover was intentionally orchestrated on the heels of Olympics.  The way it portrays both world leaders isn’t by accident either.

Business leaders face the same negative positioning challenges from our competitors all the time. It’s how we as business leaders deal with these challenges that will ultimately impact the success or failure of our businesses. When you’re at the top, people are always going to gun for you and try to knock you off from the top position. Whether you’re in business or politics, it still works the same.

In this case, Vladimir Putin saw an opportunity to negatively position a competitor in the world of politics. He has taken his shot in an effort to position President Obama as weak and ineffective and himself as powerful and decisive. So far, Putin is the one who is taking action and projecting himself to be the decisive world leader. Meanwhile, Obama is doing the talking and doing exactly what Putin wanted him to do: reacting.

Time will tell on just how President Obama acts. Will he act proactively? Or re-actively position himself in the competitive world of politics? Will he sit back and let Vladimir Putin call the shots? Or will he be decisive and call the shots himself? Time will tell…

In situations like these, Brand Champions must decide how we will respond to competitors who are gunning for us. Are we going to act decisively or re-actively and allowing our competitors to brand and position us? Are we as Brand Champions going to allow ourselves to get painted into a corner without acting and tear down all we have worked so hard to build? At some point our jobs, careers, businesses — even countries — may be threatened. The decision is how are we going to handle that threat, the choice is yours….Brand Champions aren’t just that without being decisive.

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