I recently tried to pin a liberal down regarding what the Democrat brand meant.
He didn't want to play. He talked around the issue.
Some brands convey simple, powerful messages. Generally, the simpler the message the more powerful.
Toyota Camry? Value, durability, no surprises.
Ford F-150? Rugged. Hits the center of the truck market.
Buick? Powerful, distinctive, mature.
A brand that requires three paragraphs to define itself has a weak brand image.
Brands defined by negation
Oldsmobile got slaughtered when they advertised "Not your father's Oldsmobile".
It is worth noting that Trump never campaigned as "Not Hillary". He defined who he was and what he stood for. He trusted the voters to make that distinction.
Back to Democrats
One could introduce a scale of progressiveness from zero-to-ten.
To calibrate the scale we could put Amy Klobuchar at one and Occasional-Cortex at eight. In theory, a liberal should be able to take any Democrats with national exposure and place them on that scale. Not only that, but most other liberals should be able to plunk them down on the scale and most of them should fall within a two-point range.
So where does Washington State Governor Jay Inslee fall on this scale? On June first, could you have accurately placed the mayor of Seattle? Or on May 20, could you have accurately placed the mayor of Minneapolis?
If you have to operate on assumptions because you have no real data, is the typical Democrat offering more likely to be a Stacy Abrams clone or a clone of Joe Manchin, a Yugo or a Camry?
The Democrat branding problem is two-fold. The universe of progressiveness is from Yugo-to-Bugatti and nobody can figure out where the majority of the Democratic market offerings fall within that universe. Self-labeling as a "Democrat" tells the voter exactly nothing.
Any brand that does not paint a vivid picture in the foreground of the potential buyer's emotional landscape is a liability. "Not Trump" is weak gruel.