The Occupy Wall Street protests have spread far beyond New York and have become something of a global phenomenon. Despite the push-back against capitalism that comes from the core of the movement, it could still benefit from some marketing savvy to sell it’s ideas to the general public and make it sustainable.
So far, Occupy Wall Street has done a good job at creating awareness of itself, but the movement’s goals have not been completely clear, which could lead to the moment losing momentum. “Any corporate brand stands for something, whereas they don’t stand for anything specific,” said Miro Copic, a marketing professor at San Diego State University. “In two, four, five weeks when it gets really cold, if they don’t have a reason for being, even the most ardent people are going to go home.”
The movement does have some potential slogans and brands in “We are the 99 percent.” Taking the idea that “the American dream is dead” could be a logo to bring Occupy Wall Street together.
By design, Occupy Wall Street is organic and leaderless which has helped it grow. However, the lack of a head means that there’s no focus on what they should be doing, be it boycotting banks, lobbying for job-training programs, writing to their congressman about ending foreclosures or student-loan debt, or pushing for a higher minimum wage.
“Frustration without an outlet tends to peter out at a certain point,” says Copic.
However, there is the possibility that the movement will be so all inclusive that usual marketing ideas don’t apply. “We are not going to make demands. We are not going to become a political party,” said Sonia Silbert, a longtime political activist who was at the Occupy DC encampment a few blocks from the White House Sunday. “The second we start making demands, we start splintering, and we are no longer the 99%.”