Know The Political Preferences & Leanings Of Your Customers

Jun 5, 2024 | Audience Intelligence

There’s an old adage in America that says, “Never discuss politics or religion in polite company.” For years, this belief reigned true with brands to avoid rocking the boat with their customer base.

And while taking part in culture wars—conflicts between different social or political groups— used to be seen as a faux pas, something shifted a few years back. As Forbes describes it, Nike’s decision to support Colin Kapernick’s political stance was seen “as the new gospel: boldly supporting social causes would invariably benefit brands.”

Fast forward 5 years to a post-pandemic and deeply divisive political culture, that sentiment may have waned. And if the Bud Light Boycott taught us anything, it’s that taking a political stand that differs from your audience can cost you millions.

But what if brands could anticipate how their next campaign, influencer or political based messaging will go over with their audience? In the following section we’ll dive into how social audience insight platform, Silhouette™, is helping brands understand their audience’s political viewpoints.

Know The Political Preferences Of Your Audience

Since 2024 is another big election year in the U.S., we figured it was the perfect time to introduce Silhouette’s latest addition of political insights.

Better understanding your audience’s political leanings and affiliations can enable you to more closely align campaigns with their cultural values and beliefs, ensuring campaigns will resonate.

While Silhouette users can already create custom audiences based on political interests like civil rights, the new Politics section of an Insights Report provides a comprehensive view of the following:

Political Compass: Visualize exactly where your audience falls on the political spectrum aka how far right or left they are compared to a baseline:

Why This Matters: By understanding how your audience leans gives insight into the social and economic issues your audience cares about.

2. Relevant Political Topics: Understand which political topics your audience is most passionate about:

Why This Matters: Ensure your campaigns and social impact partnerships align and resonate with what matters most to your audience.

3. Political Influencers: See which political figure your audience actively engages with:

Why This Matters: Understanding the politicians and politically-based influencers your audience engages with is key to gaining a deeper understanding about their values and belief system based on the political stances of specific politicians.

Who Can Take Advantage Of Silhouette’s Political Insights?

As we explored above, it’s beneficial to understand the political leanings and belief systems of your audience, whether you decide to take those insights into consideration for your next campaign or not.

With that said, here are a few organizations who can really take advantage of this newest Silhouette update:

  • Political organizations
  • Public affairs and lobbying firms
  • Agencies with political clients
  • Any agency or brand targeting personas that have a cultural nuance/looking for strong cultural signals
  • Any agency or brand looking to understand their audience better
Real-Life Brands Who Have Taken a Political Stance

While the general rule of thumb for many companies is to avoid most political topics, there are instances where companies have created fierce brand loyalty through strategic social positioning:

  1. Patagonia: Patagonia’s entire brand centers around minimizing harm and providing a positive impact on the world. They have initiatives that span social and environmental responsibility and are vocal about their missions and their progress towards goals.
  2. TOMS: TOMs mission statement is “we’re in business to improve lives”. They center their corporate values around this mission, giving back ⅓ of their profits for causes they believe in like mental health and sustainability programs.
  3. Ben & Jerry’s: Ben & Jerry’s is arguably one of the boldest companies when it comes to taking a political stand. According to their mission statement, “We believe that ice cream can change the world. We have a progressive, nonpartisan social mission that seeks to meet human needs and eliminate injustices in our local, national, and international communities by integrating these concerns in our day-to-day business activities.”

Any brand looking to take a stand about social or political issues would greatly benefit from Silhouette’s new political insights—as it would help them align their missions with their target audience.

Image source: Gallup

Without a clear cut answer, having access to Silhouette’s Political insights is crucial to understanding what policies and causes matter most to your audience, or avoid taking a stance all together.

At StatSocial, we want to make sure you have as much insight and knowledge about your audience to make informed decisions.

Want to know the political preferences and leanings of your audience? Schedule a free demo now.

Looking to learn more about Silhouette and how you can leverage rich social audience data across your campaigns? Check out the following resources:

> The Audience Intelligence Solution You Need to Truly Understand Your Consumers

> The Data You Need for Accurate Media Planning

> How to Measure Brand Perception



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