With the U.S presidential election imminent, not surprisingly politics are dominating everyone’s conversations. Last week I had an on-going discussion with a work colleague on whether brands have political connotations. We decided to try to figure out the politics of brand.
The conversation started with my colleague’s observation about cars in our office parking lot: more Republicans owned BMW’s while more Democrats owned Jeeps. Cars turned into sports: Democrats prefer football while Republicans prefer baseball. Yes, it’s a bit of stereotyping but it was intriguing to the marketer in me.
My colleague speculated that logo colors might reveal something about political leanings. After all, red and blue are the primary logo colors. Coca-Cola, Verizon, and Oracle would all be considered Republican while Pepsi, AT&T, and SAP would be Democratic. Chick-fil-A’s red logo seems to be consistent with their recent political controversy.
While an intriguing notion, our observations didn’t match the research we found. The neuro-insight research firm Buyology studied consumers’ non-conscious connections to brands and discovered variations by political affiliation:
|Most Desired Car||Jeep||BMW|
|Most Desired Electronics||Sony||Sharp|
|Most Desired Insurance||Progressive||Allstate|
|Most Desired Restaurant||Wendy’s||Subway|
|Most Desired Coffee Shop||Starbucks||Dunkin’ Donuts|
Allstate’s blue logo disproves our logo theory but at least we got the cars correct.
Trying to associate brands with political preferences is apparently a popular topic. According to consumer research firm YouGov, which ranked 1,100+ brands for quality, value, and willingness to recommend, the top brands for each political party are as follows:
|Fox News Channel|
|Dawn||Johnson & Johnson|
The results seem to imply Republicans watch more TV while Democrats spend more time on-line.
Even social media has joined in. The digital agency Engage cross-referenced polling data with influence and Facebook “likes” to correlate food preference with politics. Their conclusion? “Conservatives like Cracker Barrel, while Red Bull leans left.”
I don’t know if any of this can be used to project the election winner but it’s good fun to speculate about the politics of brand.
So readers, do your politics fit these brand preferences?