My friend, C.C. Chapman, wrote a great blog post today about brand loyalty.  He wrote about how companies just giving away free stuff is often not enough to buy loyalty.  What these gifts and freebies buy is exposure to people who may be interested in your products, and it lets them kick the tires without making a huge financial commitment.  The product itself, and whether it delivers on its promises, ultimately, will be what earns trust and ultimately, loyalty for a brand.

I’m currently running against an incumbent for the PA House of Representatives, and in essence, I am trying to convince people to switch brands.  Like any good marketing campaign, it will be about asking the voters/consumers to take a look at what they currently have, whether they like what they have, or whether they are willing to have a look at an alternative.  The alternative has to make promises and show a vision for a different sort of future, and then deliver on those promises, as soon as possible.  Building that trust is a long term process, which is why being involved in communities, in person and online, is so important.  That trust has to start from somewhere, and it starts with your reputation.

Unlike the retail or business spheres, in politics, it’s much harder to prove you can deliver on promises in advance of “purchase” or choice.  You have to be elected to the position in order to start delivering, but we have some ideas we’re going to try in the coming months to see if it’s possible to start delivering on promises in advance.

One of the things I want to try is setting up a regular time where we can meet and discuss issues important to you.  Taking an evening out to meet a candidate is hard for many people with kids and busy lives, so we will try to do this virtually, through open online chats and calls, so you can ask me questions face to face, even if it’s over the internet.  I’ll be at all sorts of events, knocking on doors, and making phone calls, but with the internet, we can meet online, too, making it easier for us to meet and for me to hear your concerns.   I want to meet as many of you as possible in person, to hear what’s most important to you, and how we can make our community stronger.   That involves making sure our kids are college and career ready, and that there are jobs available to them as well as everyone in the community.

We need to help make it easier for entrepreneurs to start new businesses, and find ways to make the pathway to starting a new business easier and more streamlined, saving time and money.  We need to make sure everything from roads to schools are well funded and maintained.  We need to continue to help our local treasurers, like the Brandywine Battlefield, the Brandywine River Museum, and the recreational opportunities surrounding them, continue to attract visitors, both locally and from around the Country.

We live in a wonderful community, and we need to make sure everyone sees it not only as a convenient place to live to get to the larger cities that surround us, but as a great place to raise families and build a sense of place our kids will want to return to to raise their own families- a place full of opportunity, now and in the future.