Skip to Content
Author's profile photo Jonathan Becher

The Politics of Brand

The U.S presidential election is imminent and, not surprisingly, politics are dominating everyone’s conversations.  Last week a work colleague and I had an on-going discussion of whether brands have political connotations.

We started with an observation about cars in the office parking lot: more Republicans own BMW’s while more Democrats own Jeeps. Cars turned into sports: Democrats prefer football while Republicans prefer baseball. We tried to find a pattern with fast food restaurants but couldn’t.

My colleague then speculated that logo color might reveal something about political leanings.  Coca-Cola, Verizon, and Oracle would all be considered Republican while Pepsi, AT&T, and SAP would be Democratic.  Chick-fil-A’s red logo seems to be consistent with their recent political controversy.

While it’s an intriguing notion, the theory didn’t stand up to a little on-line sleuthing. The neuro-insight research firm Buyology studied consumers’ non-conscious connections to brands and discovered variations by political affiliation:

Democrats Republicans
Most Desired Car Jeep BMW
Most Desired Electronics Sony Sharp
Most Desired Insurance Progressive Allstate
Most Desired Restaurant Wendy’s Subway
Most Desired Coffee Shop Starbucks Dunkin’ Donuts

Allstate’s blue logo disproves our theory but at least we got the cars correct.

It turns out trying to associate brands with political preferences is a popular topic. According to consumer research firm YouGov, which ranked 1,100+ brands for quality, value, and willingness to recommend, the top brands for each political party are as follows:

Democrats Republicans
Google Fox News Channel History Channel
Cheerios Craftsman
Clorox Chick-fil-A
Dawn Johnson & Johnson

The results seem to imply Republicans watch more TV while Democrats spend more time on-line.

Even social media has joined in.  The digital agency Engage cross-referenced polling data with influence and Facebook “likes” to correlate food preference with politics. Their conclusion? “Conservatives like Cracker Barrel, while Red Bull leans left.”

Infographic by engage

I don’t know if any of this can be used to project the election winner but it’s good fun.

So readers, what do you think? Do your politics fit these brand preferences?

Follow me on twitter @jbecher.

This blog was originally posted on Manage By Walking Around.

Assigned Tags

      1 Comment
      You must be Logged on to comment or reply to a post.
      Author's profile photo Carsten Hahn
      Carsten Hahn

      Hi Jonathan,

      it is interesting to me (probably as a european citizen) that you know which one of your colleagues is voting for the Democratics and which one is voting for the Republicans. It is not common in Europe to talk about the political preference.

      But nevertheless, Im sure that either the Democrats and Republicans are using those correlation results by steering the election activties into the right direction (e.g. Democrats are focusing a bit more on online whereas Republicans are focusing more on TV)

      Maybe SAP could also benefit from our Brand Value by managing our activities more with regards of the impact on increasing the value? Are we doing that?