It’s a hot, hazy summer day here in Chicagoland and I admit I’ve been casting about for a topic for this blog post. The World Cup? The Stock Market? Prince George? Nothing was getting my blogger juices flowing until I saw a story about Air Force One, the President’s personal plane. Specifically, CNN is reporting that the iconic blue and white specially-modified 747 may be replaced within the next few years.
I’ve always thought that flying around on Air Force One would be the coolest part of being president. I also assume that when ambitious politicians ponder running for president, they can’t help picture themselves stepping out of the plane’s main doorway, waving to the crowd and walking down the jetstairs as a band plays Hail To The Chief. So much more fun than negotiating with Congress or trying to figure out what to do about Syria.
You may not know that “Air Force One” is actually an air traffic control call sign, automatically assigned to any airplane the U.S. president happens to be flying on. It’s also a spectacularly effective example of branding. The president doesn’t really need his own airplane. We’ve seen pictures of Queen Elizabeth arriving somewhere on a British Airways plane and the Pope flies Alitalia. Any Air Force jet could be modified with the required security and communications equipment to safely take the American president wherever he needs to go.
Over the years, however, the designation “Air Force One,” and the beautiful 747 aircraft it refers to, have come to be iconic symbols of the presidency and the power and prestige of the United States itself.
So how’s your brand? Do people know what you stand for, what you’re good at, what you can do for them? If not, take some inspiration from the branding of the president’s plane and set out to improve brand “You.”