Do brand politics impact consumer purchases? It’s complicated.

Marketing Land

Multiple variables may affect how consumers react to brands that take a stand.

Greg Sterling on December 4, 2018 at 1:42 pm



Politics are connected to brand affinity. Engagement Labs found something very different. The company asks people about recent shopping and purchase behavior. It measures online social media sentiment and offline conversations through surveys. It doesn’t ask about future behavior or purchase intentions; it asks about very recent behavior (this week, yesterday).

In contrast to the Gravy study, Engagement Labs found that consumers’ brand preferences were definitely influenced by politics. Engagement Labs’ Brad Fay was unable to fully account for the seeming contradiction between the Gravy data and his firm’s findings, but explained that Engagement Labs’ survey methodology was sound. He cautioned however, that brands should not rely exclusively on social media sentiment because it’s the least likely to be an accurate predictor of consumer purchase behavior.

He affirmed that brand affinity and party identification are definitely connected. He also told me that some brands are more polarizing than others and may see a larger effect accordingly. Brands such as Allstate Insurance, Capital One, Panera, JetBlue, KitchenAid and the NBA were “blue brands.” Audi, American Express, GE, Hobby Lobby, Kroger and State Farm were “red brands.” Fay says this definitely plays out in visitation and purchases.


Read the full Marketing Land article, here.

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