Some thoughts from Laura Ries:
This Presidential race has stacked up to be a true test of branding might.
McCain/Maverick vs. Obama/Change.
Both parties have found their footing and have refocused their campaigns and their message. It will be a true test of two brands that are now totally focused.
What each has to do now is dig in deep on their position, their word and their message.
The Democrats put on an excellent convention that stayed on-message and on-course. As the party out of power in DC, they have a tremendous advantage in being able to claim change as their theme. The power of one word, one sign, one message was evident at the convention this week. The Clinton's were not easily beat, but with one word (Change) a relatively unknown guy took them down.
What the Republicans need to do most at their convention next week is to showcase one word, one sign, one look. It is not about being better than the Democrats (nobody could put on a better show than Obama did Thursday night) it is about being different in a clear and focused way.
The difficulity in politics is that you need 51% of the vote to win, trying to appeal too broadly is a temptation. But in the end, the winner is the candidate that can attach himself or herself to a powerful idea in the mind.
My biggest concern for McCain is this: What will the signs say and will they all be the same. If McCain nails that, then this could be a race to remember and he might even win.