Marketing and politics have been bedfellows for longer than anyone can remember, and have never been more closely aligned than this election. What can we learn from the campaigns over the last few weeks, and the outcome?
The most obvious starting point is the power of the brand (personal or corporate). Since TV became the dominant media, but more explicitly since the 1997 Blair win, political leaders have surrounded themselves with a bevy of consultants, all of whom have one key job - to ensure the leader in question comes across to the electorate as trustworthy, believable, honest, open and likeable (not to forget visually appealing).
Replace the word 'leader' with 'brand' and this all starts to sound familiar...
When viewed through the eyes of a marketer, what we've seen is a market-leading brand (the Conservatives) vs the clear number two (Labour).
And there are direct correlations. Labour's focus on social justice demonstrated an understanding of emotional issues that get audiences highly engaged. Conversely the Conservatives fought on a one-issue basis (Brexit) and misread the electorate's desire for a multi-faceted (normal?) general election campaign.
In this age of marketing data overload, understanding why an individual engages with and buys into a brand / solution / product is still critically important. Researching your audience's needs, and subsequently demonstrating how you can help them will always Trump (sorry) assumptions about what one thinks an audience needs.
The Conservatives remain the largest party, but do not have a majority in the Commons. Although both Labour and the Tories have increased their share of the vote, Labour has gained 29 seats while Theresa May's party have lost 12 seats