What the Election Means for Brands

Raise your hand if you were surprised by this year’s election results. You, too? Here in New York, it seemed like Clinton’s year. And just like the media, after the events of Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning, we’re left reflecting on what it all means.

That’s a difficult question to answer. However, there are two important lessons that have surfaced for those of us that work in brand marketing.

1. Know your audience. Here in the Northeast, the West Coast and in big cities, we may have similar opinions and values — but as shown in this election, this is not the same mindset shared across the country. Which audience does your brand speak to, and what do they truly care about? Your strategy should reflect it.

2. The rise of the regular person. Clinton had so many celebrities and influential members of the media backing her. You saw it everywhere you turned. Instagram posts tagged #ImWithHer, concerts with Katy Perry, Bruce Springsteen, Beyoncé and Jay-Z, newspaper endorsements. It felt like it must be the majority opinion, but this was not the case.

Analysts point to populism, a belief in the power of everyday people. Trump did well because he spoke directly to the concerns of a large portion of this country, many of whom felt unheard in the past. What does this say about brands and their relationships with celebrities and influencers? Should we shift our thinking when it comes to partnerships and build advocacy through direct connections with consumers?

Interesting thoughts to keep in mind as we now focus on moving forward.

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