Politicians are Brands, and Republican KPIs can be checked in our Live Pulse
Carol Feigenbaum |
 09/15/15 |
3 min read

On a daily basis, we buy into brands as consumers, for their product benefits, the values they represent and what they say about us, as people, if we consume them. Business that sell us such brands, typically have smart CEO’s, who stay on top of metrics and indicators to know how their brand and business is doing.
Politicians are brands in their own right – each with their own distinct product and value set. They generate a response, and they too, track their key performance indicators (KPIs) to understand if their brand proposition is in good or bad shape. And on the quest to becoming the next CEO of the U.S.A, understanding consumer reaction and performance indicators in the moment is key.

So you can imagine the fun we are having at NetBase right now – leveraging our advanced social listening technology – to understand how the various Politician brands stack up. What is the conversation, which share of voice does each candidate get, and who has the most positive conversation with the Public and also within their Party?

As the campaign for the Republican nomination continues to generate heat, there is real interest in the CNN Republican Primary Debate on September 16. The NetBase Live Pulse of the GOP debate will provide the fuel for the stories that go up immediately after the event as well the tinder to spark lively social media exchanges.

Last week at Brand Innovators in LA, I was privileged to share a NetBase original look into the social performance of both Republicans and Democrats running for party nomination, amongst a great set of smart marketers.

U.S. CEO candidates are running their own command centers for sure to understand their Brand value and challenges as seen by people. When I reviewed consumer perception in the run up to the debate, from August 8th to September 8th a number of insights emerged, some more surprising than others:


  • Maybe to little surprise, candidate Donald Trump has more social mentions than any other Republican (or Democrate) candidate (at more than 14M versus Jeb Bush and Ted Cruz at circa 1M each).
  • Consumers are polarized in their opinion of Donald Trump, leading to the most positive mentions, and also negative mentions (hence a negative net sentiment score overall) – but don’t be fooled…
  • Because, the amount of positive conversation about Donald Trump is at a 2x level that of all other Republican candidates This at a Public level and also at a Party level *).


  • Candidate Bernie Sanders is driving 300%+ more positive Public social conversations than his nearest rival Hillary Clinton.
  • At a Party level, these two candidates are neck to neck on positive conversation.

*Positive Public sentiment or mentions = all social web mentions that were positive. Positive Party sentiment or mentions = all social web mentions that were positive from followers of the party (an audience proxy).

  • We have looked at a period of the past month, from August 8th and through to September 8th.

We will be reviewing the Republican brands based on their performance in social. Mentions – ie the amount of conversation, Net Sentiment – a measure of real consumer feeling by calculating Likes and Dislikes. And we will also be diving in to Positive mentions in particular to tap the pulse of whats going on out there.

Having access to net sentiment in real-time will provide journalists, and anyone else interested in the future of our country, insight into how the candidates are being perceived online (and correspondingly offline) as the debate progresses.

If NetBase’s Live Pulse of the August contest is any indicator the nuances of the shifting net sentiment and trending topics over the course of the evening is sure to be worth watching.

That is why we offer you to join us for free, to follow real-time as we leverage LIVE NetBase Mashable Pulses to track whats going on in upcoming debates.

Click and dive into each persona from a social angle to see what the public is talking about – starting with the Republican debate focus on September 16th.


The results from Wednesday’s debate promise to illuminating. Did the candidates and their teams learn any lessons from the August trends? How will the campaigns balance the desire to generate mentions with the desire to be seen in a positive light? You can bet they’ll be watching what happens to their Brands closely. And now you can too!

CMO NetBase, Pernille Bruun-Jensen

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