Political Branding/Brand Personality and Voters’ Choice of Candidate: An Empirical Inquiry into 2015 Presidential Election in Nigeria

Achor Princewell Nwanganga, Nwachukwu Chima Peter, Udensi Mirian I


This article examined political branding and brand personality traits or dimensions that influence voters’ choice of candidate before and during an election. Brand personalities of the two most prominent candidates (Goodluck of PDP and Buhari of the APC) in the Nigeria 2015 presidential election were examined. A synthesis of Aaker’s five-dimension model and other brand personality models distilled from other works were used as basis for the investigation. Findings show that brand personality dimensions such as competence, credibility/sincerity, sophistication, audacity etc. are attributes that influence voters’ choice of a political candidate prior to /during election. Findings also show strong correlation between the two candidates’ brand personality dimensions but with different ratings of the scales that describe their brand dimensions. The brand personality dimensions shape the perceptual map of voters about a candidate’s suitability for electoral office or post. They are not a standalone variable in the voter choice priorities, but contribute very significantly to the choice mix of an enlightened voting public. The implication of these findings to a political marketer is to leverage on both party brand equity (PBE) and candidates’ valued personality traits in crafting result-oriented campaign strategies for candidate marketing.

Keywords: Political branding, Brand, Voters Choice, Election, Political Candidate

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