Does the current polarized political climate in the U.S. even extend to favored brands? A new survey of brand preferences by political affiliation suggests the answer is, well, yes and no.
Google is the favorite brand of Democrats, an analysis of YouGov’s BrandIndex survey results found, while Fox News topped the brand list of Republicans. Maybe Democrats feel at home with Google’s inherent techie elitism masquerading as populism; and clearly Republicans appreciate a brand that treats their opposition like a foreign occupier.
Interesting questions abound. JetBlue is the third-ranked airline brand among Democrats, for example, but doesn’t show up in the Republican top 10. Could be JetBlue’s strong presence in liberal coastal cities mean that its cabins are filled with Democrats, flying blithely over heartland Republicans (who can’t see the JetBlue logo from their conservative small towns).
And why is Aflac ranked among Republicans’ top five insurers in the YouGov survey, while Democrats favor Progressive? Is it because Progressive’s strong online quoting and marketing platform make it naturally appealing to young-skewing Democrats, while Aflac – known a disability insurer for small businesses and the self-employed– caters to the entrepreneurial streak of Republicans?
There’s more. Target is the fourth-ranked retailer among Democrats – but is nowhere near the top five for Republicans, even after the chain incurred the ire of ultra-liberal political action committee MoveOn.org for contributing $150,000 to a group backing an anti-gay-marriage Republican candidate.[more]
Also interesting but harder to explain are the marques that get high marks from both Republicans and Democrats. With some parenthetical theories as to their appeal, these universally embraced brands included: Discovery Channel (giving hope that maybe there is such a thing as non-partisan knowledge out there); Johnson & Johnson (everybody hurts); Craftsman (even liberals need tools); and FedEx (everyone’s been burned by the Postal Service). Perhaps most intriguingly, Democrats and Republicans both rank the History Channel in the top 10, suggesting that, if there’s one thing partisans of all stripes seek, it’s to ground their present-day battles on a solid historical foundation. They may both be watching the same shows, but, one suspects, they’re drawing different lessons from that programming.
A less jaundiced eye might view these areas of overlap as signs that great brands do strong work in appealing to everyone. Another political aisle-crossing brand was UPS, leading one to speculate: Can Americans both red and blue find common cause in what brown can do for them?