Po­lit­i­cal brand love at first sight
Jeff & Lindsay Sage / 12 November 2020

We’ve all been thinking about candidates lately.
And feeling all the feels.   

All the above.   

But what is it that makes them potent, appealing and influential?  

Brand. And the research that informs it.  

Candidates, like founders, ideally need to be thinking about their brand before any campaigning begins. It should be embedded in the culture of the campaign from the start. It should be researched, curated and established well before the first door knock, donation or digital delivery.  

Not unlike with products, understanding people is the path to building a brand that voters, donors and volunteers can relate to and love at first sight.   

It’s this understanding that ultimately opens the door to transforming behaviours and creates the opportunity to solve real problems facing our communities - so campaign brands should reflect that.   

Establishing your brand early gives you a chance to come out and meaningfully connect from day one, and never stop. How did we ever live without her, they should say.  

It’s a high bar, but an achievable one, and a necessary one, given the current political climate.   

But how?  

Here are some considerations for elected officials, aspiring candidates and their supporting campaign teams:  

  • Decide on your brand strategy early, not often; 
  • Don’t gamble on what you think people care about - especially in this moment;
  • Establish a deep understanding of your community’s shared set of values; 
  • Forge and reforge a relationship with the electorate, based on that deep understanding of what matters to them.

People aren’t voting for who their parents voted for. (Just like they’re not purchasing the same things their parents purchased.) They are seeking out candidates that align with their core beliefs and someone they can relate to on a human level. That’s why a campaign’s brand strategy needs to be so much more than the aesthetic layer that carries it and why brand plays such an important role in a campaign’s trajectory. 

In short, make sure you answer the most important campaign brand question of all:

What is the campaign’s reason for being?

That’s what you need to know for certain and what you’d be seeking to discover when you reach out to find out.

Because the most important part of that answer comes from the people. 

And every vote counts.     

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