Brand Analysis: National vs. Labour – 2014 Election
I am not really one to get too involved in politics. It is not really in my nature and I am probably to honest and direct for it.
But I did have call to think about the Brand Analysis: National vs. Labour – 2014 Election. It is a good case study in branding.
A disclaimer: I have voted both National, Labour and the Greens before. So, no bias.
My prediction is that National will win. Part of the reason is their branding. There strategy is pretty simple and it builds from the classic brand alliancing strategy. Focusing most of the resources on the main brand equity. MAIN BRAND – John Key. Then when they want to build awareness of the weaker brands, for example, SUB-BRAND – Unknown Candidate X, they just present that SUB-BRAND along side the MAIN BRAND. Instantly their is a sharing of brand equity between the stronger and the weaker brands.
National have applied that strategy as they have learnt that it is the stronger brand as defined by the voters. So, they leverage it. Here is an example with Nikki Kaye (not that Nikki needs it):
The same approach is also used a lot in PR and photos.
If you want to read more about Brand Alliances here is a seminal article by Ashkay R. Rao and Robert W. Ruekert in the MIT Sloan Review.
Interesting the Electoral Commission is also using a similar strategy to attract young voters using Lorde. Leverage the larger brand to gain awareness for the issue.
Labour on the other hand does not have a clear brand strategy. It has one but it could be applied to branding toothpaste or a bank. Nothing wrong with that but it does not take account of the current context of this election. That this election is all about John Key. Those that like him and those that don’t. Even Labour have played into the branding trap where most of their communications is about John Key. They have also created the tag line; Vote Positive. Overall, the branding strategy is simple 101 branding and in my view fails to understand what approach to branding should applied in this context. Because, as everyone knows. Often we vote with what we know and are aware off.