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What the 2016 Election Taught Us About Brand Strategy

posted on November 8, 2016

The most important day of 2016 is finally upon us.

It’s Election Day.

Today, millions of Americans across the country will flock to their nearest voter registration buildings to vote for who they feel is the best fit to become the next POTUS.vote_vote

But what, from a marketing standpoint, can we learn about brand strategy from this election? What tactics worked? What didn’t work? What swayed voters to choose a certain candidate? Let’s take a look at what the presidential race for the White House taught us about brand strategy.

Brand advocacy is at the center of every message.
Even when a candidate talked about the other, at the center of each statement they made was their own personal stance on the topic. For prospective candidates, simply advertising an image won’t secure them many votes. Like a brand manager trying to sell a product, an image must be backed up with an earned respect. Voters must be able to convince themselves why one candidate is right for them more than the other. From the 2016 election, we see that recommendations from our peers and word of mouth are the most effective forms of advertising. If you market your brand correctly, your customers will do the advertising for you.  

Embrace a multichannel strategy
Communication can be, and should be, conducted through a number of different channels. In recent years, and more specifically for this election, we see most citizens getting their race coverage from television and social media platforms. But, there is still a healthy amount of voters getting their information from radio and paper news outlets as well. To be successful, marketers must utilize numerous outlets in order to expose their message to as many demographics as possible. Both Clinton and Trump have done a reputable job using social media to reach their younger targeted demographics while also promoting themselves through paper and radio media. And speaking of social media…

Social media is trending up
According to numerous studies, six out of 10 Americans get their news from social media. The popularity and use of social media have exponentially grown just in the last decade. The 2016 election will no doubt affect most Americans lives. From this, people have a feeling of community. Politicians can target masses of people and leverage the power of community to sway voters in their favor. Social media is an excellent way to do this. As these politicians look to gain the trust of large groups of voters, they also use real-time marketing. Tweeting before and after rallies, debates and events places their message right in front of their target audience almost immediately. Social media has played an integral role in this election and is a constantly relied on tool in digital marketing.

Advocacy means opportunity
When you buy something, do you read the reviews? Do you ask your friends, family or colleagues? And how often does their opinion or outlook factor into your decision? It is estimated that over 80% of consumers take in account personal recommendations from others when making a purchase. Because of this, brand advocates play an important role in how a product, or in this case, a politician, grows its brand. In the hyper-connected world we live in today, brand loyalists make significant impacts on the outlooks of products and politicians, especially to those that are less-informed. Having a passionate brand advocate on your side, (i.e. Jay-Z and Hillary or Tom Brady and Donald), makes for a powerful ally that gets people to have two-way conversations. Having brand advocates has proven to be instrumental in the campaigns for both candidates and can be for you as well!

Regardless of today’s outcome, we still get to hang our hats on having the privilege to live in the United States of America and that is something we can all be brand advocates for! If you’re looking for a trustworthy marketing department that can help build your brand, check out our marketing page and feel free to contact us for more information. And don’t forget to get out and VOTE!

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Lead Creative Designer at Stellar Blue

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