How much do brands need to consider political polarization?

Political Boxing Gloves

How much do brands need to consider political polarization?

Does left or right matter when it comes to purchase decisions? Rebecca Brooks writes about this issue in a recent article on Research-Live and covers how brands do – or don’t – take political stands when it comes to communication with consumers. Because of the decidedly polarized political climate these days, many brands assume that messaging or advertising along party lines will influence shopping behavior.

She concludes that maybe it doesn’t matter as much as we may have thought. “Based on a study with Buzzfeed, our data revealed that, despite political leanings, attitudes among our survey respondents were surprisingly similar.” Even when looking at the extremes – participants who leaned strongly to one side of the spectrum or the other – there were almost no data-supported differences. “When it came to shopping behavior, and how the groups make purchase decisions, they were nearly identical. On statements around product quality, feature importance and brand values, the two groups scored identically. From a shopping standpoint, their enjoyment and approach to shopping is the same.”

So how can brands make an impact? Rebecca says staying authentic and keeping core brand values in mind is more important than ever. Citing brands like Bonobos, whose essence is steeped in the political landscape (e.g. their #evolvethedefinition campaign), she says that for some brands this approach works. For others, it may seem like pandering if it wasn’t part of their brand architecture from the start.

In short, there is very little value in a brand’s pursuit of political messaging or communications, when their audiences (no matter left or right) all essentially want the same things: authenticity, quality and straightforward value.

Read the complete article here:

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