Seem like every media pundit is interviewing every PR person on what steps poor Martha Stewart will need to do to rehabilitate her image after she is released from prison.
Well, I have news for them.
She doesn’t have to do one darned thing.
She is the strongest brand in America today.
Everyone knows what she stands for — and that’s the keenest definition of good branding.
Love her or hate her, you know what Martha Stewart is, does, and acts.
A timeout in jail won’t affect anyone’s opinion of her. Go on, marketers, do a big, fancy, costly research study of the public’s opinions of Martha today, next month and last year and I’ll bet you the people who like her still like her and the people who hate her still hate her. So there.
One of the more interesting studies I’ve read recently says that people want to believe what they want to believe. No one wants to have their opinion contested. Whether it be their politics, their religion or anything else. More on that later, though. This tidbit offers the seminal point for anyone involved in public opinion research today. It’s not about changing people’s attitudes anymore, it is about solidifying your core constituency and mobilizing them to take the action you desire. As for the people who don’t believe in your cause, forget them. They’ve already forgotten about you!
Now, back to Martha.
If the classic definition of a brand is “a promise” then Martha has always delivered on her promise and has been true to her mission. While I can’t bake a cake, create a wreath from scratch or make a bed without 10,000 wrinkles, I know who I would turn to if I really needed the answer. And so do you.
Martha is the brand.
She is invincible because she is true to her brand.
(Editor’s note: No, don’t even get me started on her guilt or innocence; the injustice she suffered by the tabloid media, or the double standard that befell her as a woman compared to men who actually robbed and stole pension funds at Enron and other top corporations. )