General Election 2017: What Marketers Should Consider

Just as we were getting bored of talking about Brexit, Theresa May announced a snap general election to polarise the British public even further. How many public votes do we need to realise we can’t be trusted with public votes?

With even more uncertainty heading our way this year, here’s what British marketers should be considering…

General Election Uncertainty Will Knock Consumer Confidence

The snap general election came as a shock to everyone, especially since May had refused calling an early election on numerous occasions, claiming Britain needed “certainty, stability and strong leadership” following the EU referendum.

Just as the PM was beginning to make move towards leaving the EU, brands and businesses in the UK were hoping clarity over the Brexit process could calm current consumer uncertainty; the latest GfK figures show consumer confidence is “stuck in the doldrums” as shoppers “hold their breath”.

In March, GfK’s consumer confidence index (CCI) scored overall consumer confidence at -6 and the major purchase index at 6, which is five points below March in 2016.

But now, consumers have been blindsided by early general election THAT WE WERE PROMISED WOULDN’T HAPPEN (sigh), it’s likely that British consumer confidence is going to take another hit.

This means that marketers should be considering how to counteract it; what can your business do to gain trust from your customers?

Should Brands Take a Side?

2016 rocked the western world when not one, but two, seemingly impossible political votes came in. With the now impending UK general election on June 8th is only offering up another reason to divide as political parties battle over their interpretation of Brexit.

Many big brands have already shown a willingness to take a stand within this divisive climate. For instance, last year Lego decided to retract their adverts from the Daily Mail due to the ‘Stop Funding Hate’ campaign. Likewise, in the US, brands such as Airbnb, Starbucks and Budweiser have publicly opposed Trump’s policies; Budweiser even ran a Super Bowl advert that appeared to criticise his immigration stance.

However, the problem that arises when asserting a political stance as a business is that while you may gain the support of a portion of your audience, you could also alienate the opposing side. For instance, Budweiser’s Super Bowl commercial was highly praised by many, but also prompted a #BoycottBudweiser campaign from Trump supporters on social media.

But then, for big brands in particular, businesses run the risk of seeming weak, apathetic, ignorant or even irrelevant if they fail to pick and articulate a position on divisive issues.

The Moral

When it comes to politics, to dissenting topics and to 2017’s general election in particular, there is no hard and fast or clear cut answer. The imperative here is in the title, consider; it’s paramount that marketers, well, anyone tasked with the outward appearance of a business or brand considers, researches and tactfully undertakes a calculated decision. The decision needs to genuinely reflect the moral compass of the brand, but also heavily influenced by general stance of the audience.

For an expert opinion on marketing matters, we’d be delighted to help; call us on 01702 619139.

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