Is There Personal Branding in Politics?

is there a personal brend in politicsThe morning after. The morning after an election is filled with the team boasting about what was done right and what was done wrong. The mindset is how we won or why we lost. Either way, offices are cleaned out and everyone that worked on the campaign are leaving but the one thing that is not leaving is the image that was set upon the voters and the people. That image is what created the votes or dismayed people from voting for you or voting at all.

Personal Branding in Politics

Politics. Political affiliation is not a subject many like to talk about in business. Our affiliation is our own personal view and how we vote is the same way. We all have beliefs and many strong ties to a certain party which is personal to us until we expose it. Some do, some do not, but political affiliation is not what this post is about as the personal brand that is build within a campaign of the candidates is.

Personal branding in politics is not spoken about much. The need to win and defeat the other candidate is. The finger pointing, the negativity of what they have not done or how they failed has seemed to prevail but yet what about the when the election is over? Is the brand of the person who won or the brand of the person who lost the winner?

Is there even a Personal Brand in Politics?

Is there? Is it just about the race and winning that we forget about the person and what they stand for entirely? In social media we focus on the personal brand and who we are and what image we portray to others which makes them want to follow, converse, create dialogue and engage. In politics they want us to listen, trust and vote. In both instances we are asking people to do something and that something is trust. In social media we are trusting that they will not spam us, will be participating and reciprocal in talking and engaging to become a vital part of our community and will ultimately buy from us or refer someone to buy from us. In politics they are asking us to believe and vote. Pretty powerful and seems kinda easy. I talk, you vote. If it were only that easy in real world business where I talk you buy.

A personal brand is you. What you tell people and what they believe and the image they form from that becomes your personal brand, like it or not. As a politician, what are you telling people? Your opponent sucks? Your opponent did not do this, this or that? Ok, but that negativity is now becoming a part of your personal brand. Right? If Pepsi came out and said that the ingredients in Coke are not right for your body, they are causing you sleepless nights, they are going to rot your teeth out you would be swayed to maybe believe that but would you think that Pepsi did the same thing?  That is big brand so let’s bring it down to a personal brand. If I took this blog to the extreme negative and talked about the shortfalls of my competition here and then on Twitter and Facebook and on American Express Open Forum and Third Tribe would my personal brand be affected? Would you still read? Would you still trust me or abandon me like a hotel with bed bugs?

The Negative of Politics to a Personal Brand

The candidate is a person through running develops a platform on which they run. It is their beliefs and what they want us to remember. In a smearing campaign do want us to remember all that negativity when they win or even lose?  No, they want us to suddenly shift to what they can or will do. Should we now shift to a positive because they won or even lost and not even consider their campaign? If we, in social  media did this, would we have the chance to have the morning after? Would people support us or forget the next day? In politics, your name is on the campaign front and center and your name is your personal brand but yet somehow we are being asked and willing to forget the entire platform for which they ran but yet the same is not given to businesses.

How Much Do People Pay Attention?

In politics a lot on election day. Before that, we hear chatter of the overabundance of the commercials and automated phone calls, the Tweets, etc, but yet on election day we  hear the happiness of voting (which we should) and all the focus is on who wins. Is everyone paying attention or have they tuned it out? I know here in Nevada the voters, or lack thereof which is the bigger picture here as the voter turnout was shameful and embarrassing. Was the personal brand of all the candidates affected? The Senate race was incredibly negative and many of us were avoiding television so as to not have to hear the negativity of what they have not done but never hearing what they have done or will do. Isn’t that a part of your personal brand? The image that you want people to have of you?

I may be stretching here but yet I am not so sure of that. If we as bloggers, small business owners or company employees only talking in the negative would we get people to talk to us, trust us, believe us and buy from us? Guess there is a marketing lesson here that can be learned in politics?

The floor is open to you all. The takeaway may be more of a message that in business your brand of the company is affected by the personal brand and in politics they may need not to look at who voted but who did not. Yes? In targeting your market as a business you look to get new people to buy but so why in politics are they focusing on the folks who did not vote?

photo credit: jason + amanda

  • To be honest with you there is personal branding..people tend to brand themselves more then the objective to the people..sad

    “TrafficColeman “Signing Off”

    • Traffic Coleman

      I have to agree. The representation of the people gets lost in the agenda. The idea that the there is not a personal brand in politics is real as what happens the next day and after the election? Are we to forget the negativity and move on with what?

  • Very interesting, Suzanne. There is a lot about the political world right now that needs to be looked at analytically. The negativity, to me, is stifling, and all involved parties are to blame.

    Your comparison with the world of Social Media is very interesting when looked at through the political prism. Would people still pay attention to a Facebook page if it was just update after update about how the competition stinks? I’m not so sure. It would be interesting to study in detail the intersection of politics and Social Media over the last few years. Who used Social Media effectively? Did they also win the elections in which they were involved?

    Heck, that could be a doctoral dissertation!

  • I’ll admit that I did unfollow folks who were too adamant and mealy-mouthed about some of the races – both for and against the folks I voted for. I think our own politics need to be more even-keeled in order to share them on our channels and still maintain relationships and connections with folks on all sides of the political conversation.

    • Rick

      The negativity was overwhelming but it did something incredibly powerful. While so many candidates were talking about their opponent, they did not have to talk about themselves. This made them not have to be held accountable to their words in future elections. When we are building our personal brand we are as true in branding overall, sending out a message that we wan people to believe, associate and adopt when they think of us. In politics, they are sending out multiple messages (when not pointing fingers at their opponent) and we are inundated with these messages that we are not able to put our thoughts to associate with every single one. The one that sticks with us, is generally what we talk about to others and it grows from there.

      Politicians are held publicly to a higher standard however when it comes to personal brand, it seems to be lower as we, not even being a week away from the mi-term elections, have forgotten about the smearing campaigns and what they stood for and have moved on. Many in real life are not afforded that kind of moving on.