Measuring political brand equity: a consumer oriented approach

2014-06-09T12:22:56Z (GMT) by Alan French Gareth Smith
Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to develop an understanding of how voters view the political brand by analysing the mental maps that voters create when asked to think about a political party. The analysis is both in terms of the nature of the maps and also in terms of the equity associated with a map. Design/methodology/approach: A consumer-oriented approach is developed for mapping the political brand. The brand maps are analysed to discern brand characteristics. Furthermore, methods are developed to assess the power of political brands and concomitantly, political brand equity. Findings: The method provides interesting insights into the nature and equity of brand associations for the two main political protagonists, i.e. Conservative and Labour. Key branded characteristics are highlighted for each party, both in terms of general structure, and also those associations that form a central role in voters' maps. For the partisan sample chosen, both parties are shown to have strong brand equity, with the Conservatives slightly stronger than Labour. Practical implications: The method is straightforward to apply and provides important information to political marketers about the nature and power of the associations held in memory by voters. Taking a wider stance, the approach can be applied to any branding situation. Originality/value: This paper provides a means by which a brand mapping process, new to politics, can be combined with methods facilitating the analysis of brand maps to produce a means by which brand equity can be measured. © Emerald Group Publishing Limited.