Positively negative - The impact of negativity on the political consumer
Lloyd, J. (2008) Positively negative - The impact of negativity on the political consumer. International Journal of Non-Profit & Voluntary Sector Marketing, 13 (4). pp. 301-314. ISSN 1479-103X
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Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/nvsm.332
For years there has been an ongoing debate as to the role and impact that ‘marketing’ has had on politics. Yet, it is the case that many of the concepts associated with the field of marketing have real relevance and have, in fact, been employed within the field of political campaigning for many decades. This is an empirical paper that focuses upon the concept of political brands and the impact that current trends in campaign strategy, and in particular the growth and continued use of negative campaigning, have upon them. Using a constructivist grounded theory approach, the implications associated with such activity are examined and, in particular, its effect upon the consumer/brand relationship. Within the consideration of the results, it becomes clear that political brands' use of negative campaigning is somewhat shortsighted; offering short-term gains but at the cost of long-term damage not only to their brand image but also to the wider democratic system as it stands. In a search for political ‘brands’ that more effectively meet their needs, there appears a tendency for political consumers to now look outside of the conventional political sector. The emergent concept of the ‘negative brand’ is explored together with the implications for political consumers, political brands and the wider field of conventional party politics.