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Article
Publication date: 21 August 2017

Varsha Jain, Christopher Pich, B.E. Ganesh and Guja Armannsdottir

The extant literature demands more insights into the elements for political branding in India. Thus, this paper aims to explore political branding in terms of the…

Abstract

Purpose

The extant literature demands more insights into the elements for political branding in India. Thus, this paper aims to explore political branding in terms of the influences of political branding.

Design/methodology/approach

The context is the young voters in an emerging country, India. Qualitative research was undertaken, and a total of 17 focus group discussions were conducted in the leading Indian cities.

Findings

This study found that the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) developed a strong governance and connection with the people. This approach developed a comprehensive brand among the young voters, who emphasized on the proof of the performance by the party. During pre or post-election, the BJP and other political parties need to develop a comprehensive political branding plan to connect with the voters.

Research limitations/implications

This study was focused on the external perspective of political branding. Future research can focus on the internal perspective in terms of party members and politicians. This study has focused on India as a specific case. Future studies can focus on a cross-cultural and cross-national level.

Practical implications

The framework developed can be used by political parties and leaders to develop their political brand. The study’s framework can be used in a systematic and sequential format to verify the strength of their political branding exercise.

Originality/value

This study focuses on the post-election scenario. Secondly, it focuses on the non-Western context. Also, the study represents a unique combination of the best theories and observations from political marketing and digital leadership.

Details

Journal of Indian Business Research, vol. 9 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1755-4195

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 11 November 2019

Guja Armannsdottir, Christopher Pich and Louise Spry

The creation and development of candidate-politician brands, otherwise known as political co-brands, remains an under-researched area of study. This is supported by calls…

Abstract

Purpose

The creation and development of candidate-politician brands, otherwise known as political co-brands, remains an under-researched area of study. This is supported by calls for more understanding on political co-brands and how they are positioned and managed by their creators. Framed by the concepts of internal brand identity and co-branding, this paper aims to investigate how political co-brand identity is constructed and managed over time, exploring alignment between the political co-brand and political corporate party brand.

Design/methodology/approach

An interpretivist revelatory multi-case study approach, using in-depth interviews, was conducted with three political co-brands (candidates-politicians) from the UK Conservative Party. The three cases represented constituencies across the UK from the North, Midlands and South of the country. The in-depth elite interviews were conducted July 2015 to September 2015. Methodological triangulation was also adopted to assess the coherency of emerging themes with online and offline materials and documents. A two-stage thematic analytical approach was used to interpret the findings.

Findings

This multiple case study demonstrates how successful political co-brands create and develop identities tailored to their constituency, often distinct from the corporate political brand and developed several years before electoral success at the ballot box. In addition, this study reveals that political co-brands are dichotomous in terms of strategically managing a degree of alignment with the corporate political brand yet maintaining a degree of independence.

Research limitations/implications

This study builds on limited existing concepts such as co-branding and political brand identity as a means of critical application. Existing research on co-branding remains a “relatively limited” and complex area of study and generally focuses on fictitious brands. Political brand identity remains an under-researched area. This in turn supports the development and advancement of political branding as an area of study. This paper highlights the opportunities of using the strategic approach of co-branding to help conceptualise “candidates-politicians” as political brands’ which up until now, “candidate-politician brands” have been difficult to define unlike the extensive research on corporate political brands.

Practical implications

This study has implications for practice too. Organisations and different typologies of political brands will be able to use this political co-brand identity framework as a diagnostic mechanism to investigate their co-brands current identity, assess alignment and make strategic changes or reposition the envisaged identity if desired. Similarly, organisations can use this framework, key dimensions and factors as a blueprint to design and build new political brands at a corporate and/or local level.

Originality/value

This study has implications for brands beyond the world of politics. Brands can adopt the political co-brand identity framework developed in this study as a pragmatic tool to investigate internally created co-brand identity and explore alignment with the corporate party brand identity. In addition, this research adds to the limited research on non-fictitious co-brands and co-branding literature at large and addresses the calls for more research on brand identity in new settings.

Details

Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal, vol. 22 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1352-2752

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Article
Publication date: 29 November 2019

Christopher Pich, Guja Armannsdottir, Dianne Dean, Louise Spry and Varsha Jain

There are explicit calls for research devoted to how political actors present their brand to the electorate and how this is interpreted. Responding to this, the purpose of…

Abstract

Purpose

There are explicit calls for research devoted to how political actors present their brand to the electorate and how this is interpreted. Responding to this, the purpose of this paper is to build an understanding of how political brand messages and values are received and aligned with voter expectations, which in turn shapes the consistency of a political brand.

Design/methodology/approach

Using an interpretivist perspective, this two-stage approach first focuses on semi-structured interviews with internal stakeholders of the UK Conservative Party and second uses focus group discussions with external stakeholders (voters) of age 18-24 years. Data was collected between 1 December 2014 and 6 May 2015.

Findings

The findings suggest that the UK Conservative brand had recovered from the “nasty party” reputation. Further, the Conservative brand was perceived as credible, trustworthy and responsible, with positive associations of “economic competence”. However, while the nasty party imagery has declined, the UK Conservative brand continues to face challenges particularly in terms of longstanding negative associations perceived by both internal and external markets.

Research limitations/implications

It must be acknowledged that all research methods have their own limitations, and acknowledging these will strengthen the ability to draw conclusions. In this study, for example, due to time constraints during the election campaign period, 7 participants supported stage one of the study and 25 participants supported stage two of the study. However, participants from stage one of the study represented all three elements of the UK Conservative Party (Parliamentary, Professional and Voluntary). In addition, the elite interviews were longer in duration and this provided a greater opportunity to capture detailed stories of their life experiences and how this affected their brand relationship. Similarly, participants for stage two focussed on young voters of age 18-24 years, a segment actively targeted by the UK Conservative Party.

Practical implications

The brand alignment framework can help practitioners illuminate components of the political brand and how it is interpreted by the electorate. The increasing polarisation in politics has made this a vital area for study, as we see need to understand if, how or why citizens are persuaded by a more polarised brand message. There are also social media issues for the political brand which can distort the carefully constructed brand. There are opportunities to evaluate and operationalize this framework in other political contexts.

Originality/value

The brand alignment model extends current branding theory first by building on an understanding of the complexities of creating brand meaning, second, by operationalizing differences between the brand and how it is interpreted by the electorate, finally, by identifying if internal divisions within the political party pose a threat to the consistency of the brand.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 54 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

Keywords

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