Brand Politics: Everything’s political

by Alistair Mackay (@almackay) It seems to me that South African brands are much less inclined to venture into cultural and political debate. It’s not surprising, given our cultural diversity and fears of offending people, and our track record of angrily shutting down debate. But it’s not great for building meaningful brands, either.

Brand Politics: The reign of the evangelists

by Alistair Mackay (@almackay) Brand evangelists can be hugely damaging for a brand, whether in politics or the private sector. It’s not just people bad-mouthing a brand that can influence others to avoid it; it’s the characteristics of those singing its praises, too.

Brand Politics: After-sale marketing — where political branding falls down flat

by Alistair Mackay (@almackay) Political parties really don’t get after-sale marketing. Just as with consumers after having made an important and expensive purchase, emotions run high after an election and the risk of “buyer’s remorse” is real.

Brand Politics: Seeing red — what EFF teaches us about brand-building

by Alistair Mackay (@almackay) I can think of very few brands that have risen to prominence as quickly as the EFF has. Even Google and Facebook, the textbook meteoric risers, took a few years to establish themselves. The political party has done it by applying some fundamental marketing principles, and some clever guerrilla-marketing tactics.

Brand Politics: The rules of branding ayisafani

by Alistair Mackay (@almackay) One good thing to have come out of this #ayisafani debacle, I hope, is that it has taught white South Africans a bit about conjugation in isiZulu! The phrase, which translates as “it is no longer the same”, has been expertly used by the Democratic Alliance in a recent campaign across TV and social media.

Brand Politics: Unite and conquer

by Alistair Mackay (@almackay) What is the 2014 version of advertising that crosses racial divides? Segmentation strategy in South Africa is difficult: we don’t like to be treated differently, and we recoil from brands that pick up on any differences. That creates a tension for marketers.

Brand Politics: Voters as heroes and the art of brand loyalty

by Alistair Mackay (@almackay) How do our political brands get such fervent support, even in the absence of tangible products and services and, in some cases, poor or skewed records of delivery? If private sector brands could illicit such customer loyalty, their marketing directors would retire at 40 — rich, happy and fulfilled.

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