Report Shows Trump, Clinton Don't Engender Brand Loyalty

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Survey results show US Presidential candidates have negative reputations

Donald Trump - Hillary Clinton
Donald Trump – Hillary Clinton

A report by The Reputation Institute, which gauges how consumers view companies, politicians and even countries, presented a negative results for presidential candidates, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, in regards to their ability to inspire brand loyalty.

The results gave Republican nominee Trump what it calls an overall “pulse score” of 31.7. Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton rates a bit better, at 38.7. (Any score less than 40 qualifies as having a “poor reputation,” the firm says.)

“We’re getting really into the recesses of their psyches to understand how strongly they identify with the person or the candidate,” the report by the Reputation Institute said. “That provides us with a real 360-degree view of a candidate and really looks at it from the assessment of how do I think about Brand Trump versus Brand Clinton?”

The firm surveyed over 2,000 people to gauge their feelings about each presidential candidate. Different from traditional polling, the firm developed a survey focused less on recent news events and more on reputation and emotional connection.

“While Clinton maintains a slightly better reputation than Trump, the lack of emotional connection with her campaign and candidacy still renders her in a position of risk,” the report said. “Trump on the other hand is 7-pulse points behind Clinton on the merits of reputation, and has a significant amount of work to do to in order to turn the tide of reputational momentum his way.”

The poor reputation results, according to the firm, fail to engender brand loyalty within citizens.

“Fundamentally, neither candidate has yet to capture the imagination of the American people based on the positive allure of their personal brands,” said the report.

The two presidential candidates, according to the report, are perceived as ambitious, achievement-oriented, elitist, authoritarian and controlling.

The main themes from Trump’s reputation results was extroverted, daring, aggressive and arrogant. While Clinton’s reputation was seen as hardworking, reliable, secure and refined. However, neither candidate was regarded as particularly friendly and pleasant, honest and sincere.

“[Clinton’s] lack of emotional connection with her candidacy is holding her back – she needs to better define the Clinton brand,” the report states. “For Trump it seems that the lack of understanding and belief in his policy platform is a major impediment – he needs to get more specific on his position related to the key policies.”

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