Most of us don’t ever plan on running for president or even local government, but there stands something we can learn from the 2016 election. This has been one of the most entertaining races to the office yet, filled with passionate, political…. brands. You got it, in the end of the day we aren’t voting for a politician themselves, but for the entire brand they build around their campaign. So since we have another seven months of political banter ahead of us anyway, here are four things we can watch for to do better business.

1) Know Your Audience:
Branding strategist Laura Ries explains it like this, “Running for President of the United States means building a brand that at least 51% of the country is willing to buy on Election Day.” (Source)

Luckily for us, we don’t have to have 51% of Americans use or recognize our brand to be successful (Although, It’d be great if they did!). Even politicians don’t aim for every citizen’s vote; instead they appeal to the largest audience they can, while trying to maintain their credibility and values.

You don’t have to be in every magazine, or featured on every news media outlet, just those that hit your market share. Sure it would be great to have every person recognize your brand, but start with just those that help to make your business successful.

2) Control Your Message:
Trying to get 51% of Americans to vote for them, leaves politicians on tip toes, carefully voicing their opinions on different issues. Just how politicians are careful wordsmiths with their responses to issues, our brands need to be careful about what we say and do.

So easily messages can get misconstrued; this only grows with the continual increase in web communications. Being deliberate in communications and explanations will help to keep your company on point and out of murky water.

3) Monitor, Monitor, Monitor:
How quickly can one sentence in a political debate completely derail a campaign? Fast, really fast. It’s important that we always have a watchful eye on how people are interacting with our brands.

With social media outlets galore and live-stream news, long gone are the days of waiting until the next morning’s paper to see the media’s reaction. Your business needs to be consistently monitoring the reactions to your messages and adjusting course as needed.

4) Thoughtfully React:
Don’t let your time monitoring go to waste; use what you learn to form calculated, quick-reactions. A negative tweet or Facebook review? A timely, thoughtful response can change that negative to a positive. Reacting quickly and attentively to your audience shows their value and your commitment to running a good business. Rarely does a political tweet go un-responded to, or a political Facebook message go un-answered. Each interaction is an opportunity to better communicate your message.

So with that, take these lessons and go win votes for your brand.

Allison Matz

Matz joins the Boileau team with writing and communication experience from her previous role as Academic Department Coordinator at Grand Valley State University, her alma mater. She earned her degree in English literature and writing and enjoys being able to express creativity and storytelling through her chosen career.

Berkeley Benson

Prior to joining Boileau, Benson worked as a writer and illustrator for both agency and in-house organizations. In 2018, she graduated from Cedarville University with a bachelor’s in professional writing and information design.

About the Author

Leanne Schaeffer
Leanne joined Boileau after directing marketing for a hospitality management company. Through her experience, Leanne developed a rounded knowledge across industries and thoughtful insight into stakeholder perceptions. Identifying creative solutions to tough communications issues, Leanne serves as a valuable partner to our clients and asset to our company. A Grand Valley alumna, Leanne earned her bachelor’s in Advertising and Public Relations. Outside the office, she can be found spending quality time with family, rocking first base in slow pitch softball, or sitting down with a good book in one hand and a glass of wine in the other.
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