It can be argued that UK political parties are amongst some of the strongest and most influential brands. The party names are recognised across the globe and they have shown the ability to stimulate remarkable loyalty across the years; all stemmed from a set of core values by which they clearly differentiated themselves. The 1960s saw just 13% of voters changing their party alignment. From the 1990s onwards, however, we have begun to see a shift1 and although the party names may still be clear, what they stand for often isn’t. In addition, we have begun to see a change to voting behaviour: we are becoming a nation of ‘swingers’ (cough) and we are seeing this loyalty decrease.
The solution - go back to basics. What is the recommendation to any company that is losing brand loyalty? Stop and listen to your audience. With the snap general election coming to its finale it’s clear to see that the two leading political parties have done just that and public opinion has swayed their approach in an effort to win over votes.
Using personality to increase brand influence
Traditional campaigns are taking a back seat and we are seeing more and more of influencer strategy in the world. In a method used dominantly for the consumer, the Conservative party has utilised this method, opting to use Theresa Mays image as the spearhead of the campaign in a style that is much more typical to that of a US election.
With the campaign line “Theresa May: strong, stable leadership in the national interest” taking the forefront and the Conservative logo minimised or not used at all, it is clear to see that this is in direct response to the MPs strength in the popularity in the early days of the campaigns.
A personality has always been the fundamental core of helping an audience to form sustained relationships with a brand, and utilising influencers in an important election.
A challenger brand approach
The Labour campaign has moved focus away from Jeremy Corbyn and opted for a real and human challenger brand style approach, ‘For the many, not the few’. This is a rallying cry, creating a group mentality, an idea of sticking together for the greater good.
There is an irreverent maverick air to the brand-led campaign; drawing upon the links of celebrity endorsers which adds an element of cheekiness to the campaign. Labour has also strategically used the opposing parties colours on collateral created to berate the competition. A tactic that has differentiated the campaign but arguably dented the brand consistency and instead drew focus to their opposition.
It is yet to be seen what impact the parties tailored approaches will have on the polls, but the political campaigns of the last two months highlight the ever growing need for brands to be aware and responsive to the changing wants and needs of their audiences.
There is no room within the current market place for any brand to rest on their laurels.
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