Candidate Brand Personality and the 2017 New Zealand General Election
This chapter addresses the brand personality performance of Andrew Little, Jacinda Ardern, and Bill English from their ascension to the party leadership to polling day in 2017. Their performance is analysed by assessing candidates according to their projected competence, energy, openness, empathy, agreeableness, and charisma. The research finds that Ardern had the strongest performance according to these criteria, with English the middling candidate and Little with the weakest performance. It thus demonstrates both the value and limitations of competence, the ability of energy to ‘reinvigorate’ a party, and the importance of openness, empathy, agreeableness, and charisma. It closes with pertinent lessons for practitioners, including the importance and limitations of focusing on a candidate’s functional capacity, the importance of charismatic communication, and the ability for facets of candidate behaviour to have impacts across multiple brand personality dimensions. Having a well-rounded brand personality is very important for political candidates.
KeywordsBrand personality Political branding Political candidates Charisma Competence
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