The other afternoon, I was driving down a two-lane country road. From a distance, I
saw a yard sign. The sign featured a red image of the state of South Dakota and white
lettering. Even from a distance, I knew it was a political sign. What’s more, I knew the
candidate without having to read the sign. The candidate’s name immediately came to
mind based on the image on the sign.
Now, I’m sure some would say my experience is because I follow politics. Sure, that’s
true. However, by November 6, advertising is going to make sure I’m not the only one
who is recognizing candidate names. A large part of that recognition is based on brand
Brand identity includes the colors, fonts, images and overall tone a company or
candidate uses to promote their product or campaign. However, it’s not limited to a logo.
I admit that it still seems a little awkward to use “branding” for people and not products.
However, the lessons we learn from business applies to campaigns. The way we select
and interact with products doesn’t change. The same psychology behind our selection
of laundry detergent is the same selection process that we use to decide for whom we
will cast our vote. What we know from all those marketing studies is that awareness is
process. It’s doubtful a person will remember a product they’ve only seen once. It takes
multiple “impressions” before people can form an opinion or awareness of the brand
and commit. So if there is a change to any of those tools that identify the brand, the
consumer starts back at square one.
Three reasons brand consistency is so important —
1. Brand consistency builds Name ID - just like my example above, seeing the sign
was immediately recognizable because of the number of times I’d previously seen the
image. Familiarity with the candidate’s name and associated image is the first step to
converting a person to a voter.
2. Brand consistency feels like dependability - Our top of the statewide ticket
candidates have not changed their branding even as they are seeking different offices.
There is value to those images associated with their campaign. People recognize and
know who the candidate is and it feels familiar. Voters know what to expect. It is easier
for them to support and select what they already know.

3. Brand consistency builds trust and delivers a promise - Familiarity and
dependability build trust. Voters will support whom they know. According to Forbes,
brands are built through the consistent delivery of the brand promise through all
stakeholder touch points. It is the consistent, desired experience that builds trust and
trust is the foundation for loyalty and promotion.
My examples have focused on state-wide campaigns. However, consistency is even
more critical for races that get less attention. That consistency helps cut through the
noise and helps distinguish a candidate from their competition. Not too mention, it’s
more frugal. Those road signs are expensive. Being able to use them for more than one
cycle is good money sense. Therefore, it’s especially important that all supporting
material and digital presence support and reinforce the candidate’s brand identity.
Brand identity is not fluff and superficial nonsense. A consistent, clear brand identity
allows the voters to quickly identify the candidate and associate the images with the
broader campaign message. When they go into the voter booth, your supporters will
have confidence in you and know what to expect because of the trust through a
consistent message and brand identity.
If you want to learn more about using digital marketing as part of your campaign
strategy, contact or . Together,
our team has more than 40 years of experience with politics and campaigns as well as
more than a decade with digital marketing. Check out our website at to explore the possibilities. The first consultation session is free.