Final Conservative Party Paper.pdf


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An Abnormal Market
General Elections are quite unlike most markets evaluated for IPA Effectiveness submissions.
The product is sold over one 15 hour period every five years1.
Between these periods, there’s much influence, brand repositioning, packaging change, product
reformulation and a surfeit of brand tracking.
But sales on the day is the only measure that counts.
Purchase is ‘free’, but customers know there’s some cost to themselves, their families, communities
and country. Judging the nature, extent and personal impact of that cost is key to the purchase
decision.
Brands are fairly consistent nationally, but only offer ‘local’ products, with variation in delivery and
presentation.
Competitive choice varies locally. The constituency system makes this critical. Under ‘First past the
post’, the brand leader isn’t the one purchased most nationally, but the one purchased most in more
places.
Distribution of sales is therefore critical, especially relative to competitors.
Seat Distribution
General Election Result 2010

Source: BBC

This highlights the peculiarity that a customer’s choice doesn’t necessarily deliver them that choice.
Who they choose instead of can be as significant.
We’ll see the implication of this for the Conservatives’ 2015 strategy and its evaluation, beginning
with the prognosis.

                                                                                                               

1
The 2015 General Election was the first held since the 2011 Fixed Term Parliaments Act and so took place 5 years after the 2010
Election. Previously, scheduling of the election was at the incumbent’s choosing, (unless forced by a vote of no confidence), with the mean
interval of a little over 4 years.
6