Political personalities

The election battle, as predicted, commenced this week so with four weeks of intense political marketing, what can the parties do to win over a largely apathetic public?

Jo Roberts
Jo Roberts

Political parties should be analysing their own personality traits to determine how they should be communicating to voters, according to brand agency Added Value.

The agency has run some exclusive research for Marketing Week to explore the personality traits of the parties’ political leaders. In good news for Gordon Brown, he is seen as a “ruler”. However, on the downside, he is also seen unable to communicate clearly, with hermit-like qualities.

Leader of the opposition, David Cameron, is also seen as a ruler, and a “hero”, according to the research. Unlike Brown, he is seen to be more relaxed as a speaker and has enhanced his reputation as result. However, he also comes across as shallow and a bit too eager to be cool and trendy, the research suggests.

So what can the leaders do to try and improve their character in the eyes of the public? Gordon Brown could learn from other brands such as Pantene and Nokia, who have a “sage” personality like Brown. Coming across as a straightforward guy – the mark of the sage – will help him play to his strengths. Like Nokia and Pantene, he is seen as trustworthy, which could stand him in good stead, especially as politics in general has been rocked by the expenses scandal in recent months.

Cameron needs to talk up his long-standing commitment to the Conservative Party. He has been a member for more than 20 years, but the research suggests his character is lacking depth. Talking about his long-term loyalty to the party could help him win over those members of the public who perceive him to be all talk but no substance.

How the leaders convey their brand characters will be vital part of the election campaign in the coming weeks. The election is predicted to be a closely fought battle, so Brown and Cameron will have to make sure their personalities are in fine form to have a chance of becoming the leader of the next elected Government.

To read more on political marketing click here for this week’s cover story.


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