Some scholars argue that Western societies have seen a decreasing impact of voting behavior based on cleavages and party identifications. Equally, issue ownership voting is seemingly not increasing its relevance by filling this gap. From this departure we seek out an alternative variable by posing the question: Do party brands influence voting behavior? Currently, we do not know because the two research fields of voting behavior and party brands are currently not explicitly linked. Traditionally, the study of voting behavior has gained powerful insights from concepts such as cleavage structure, party identification and issue ownership. On the other hand, the study of political brands has illuminated how people employ brands in their identity construction and how voters use party brands to differentiate between political parties. In this light, the article first distinguishes the brand concept from related heuristics and voting models. Next, the article measures the brand value of Danish parties by utilizing a representative association analysis. Finally, this measure is used to conduct the very first empirical analysis of a party brand's effect on voting behavior. Overall, the primary finding demonstrates that political brand value (PBV) has an effect on voting behavior—also when a number of other relevant explanatory variables are held constant.
Electoral Studies, 2014, Vol 33, p. 153-65
Faculty of Social Sciences; Political brands; Political marketing; Voting behavior; Heuristics; Association analysis