If branding is everything, it seems that Mitt Romney has a lock on the luxury vote.
Likely voters associate Romney and his wife Ann with brands like BMW, the Ritz-Carlton and Saks Fifth Avenue, according to a recent survey of 1,200 likely voters, by Landor Associates and Penn Schoen Berland. The Obamas channel brands like Ford, Marriott and JC Penney or Macy’s, the survey found.
“Voters want to connect with candidates that embody trustworthy characteristics and are able to consistently deliver on their campaign promises,” Allen Adamson, managing director of the New York office of Landor Associates said in a press release accompanying the survey. “This also mirrors the relationships we have with brands: delivery of brand promises begets loyalty.”
The branding dichotomy may come as no surprise given that Republicans and Democrats tend to shop as they vote -- Republicans generally preferring brands like BMW, the Democrats brands like Jeep, according to a survey from earlier this year.
The new report’s findings reinforce one of the narratives that the Obama campaign has been trying to push on the trail -- namely that Obama would be the president of the middle class, while Romney is more concerned with the interests of the wealthy and big business.
During Michelle Obama’s speech at the Democratic National Convention last month, she highlighted the financial struggles she and her husband faced before making it big. The Obama campaign additionally pounced on a leaked Romney video in which the Republican nominee told a crowd of potential donors that he didn't feel a responsibility toward the 47 percent that don’t pay income taxes.
Romney’s 47 percent comments may be why voters associate him with Armani and his wife with Ralph Lauren, while they associate President Obama with Nike and Michelle Obama with J. Crew, according to the survey.