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  • How Your Company Can Win the 2016 Election Season

    2016electionbiz1As fundamental as elections are to the unity and strength of our nation, the democratic process has a tendency to wreak havoc on the economy. For the most part, the media reports just the opposite: Most citizens recognize that presidential candidates and other elected officials tailor their views to correspond with the current tides of economic activity. However, more than a few economists have discovered that prices stagnate due to a general unwillingness to make big business decisions while election outcomes remain uncertain.

    A sluggish market is always bad for business, which tends to make business leaders worry. Fortunately, there are a few ways to transform anxiety into action to accomplish success during the darkest days of the electoral process.

    Social Media Stories

    Already, you (or your marketing team, at least) have probably noticed the substantial growth of politics-based trends on social media sites. Hashtags like #keepontrumpin and #feelthebern are popping up more and more as candidates make their rounds and rally support. Instead of trying to scream your company’s marketing messages over the cacophony of political posts, you should try building brand awareness with the help of popular politicians.

    Undoubtedly, your business is already producing high-quality content to engage your social media audience, so tailoring that content to reflect your followers’ favored political trends should not be too much of a stretch. You should aim to discuss topics objectively and inform your audience on issues that may impact them or their favorite brands — including your company.

    Perfect Pricing

    Prior to the most recent British election, the value of the Sterling fell as debates raged regarding relationships with Europe and the future of exports. Accordingly, the value of the American dollar increased about 18 percent. Since then, the Sterling has recovered, and most major global currencies have been consistent for a year and a half. However, the performance of the Sterling demonstrates how unpredictable political events, including the upcoming 2016 presidential election, affect the dollar.

    Businesses that dependent on international sales will likely feel these effects more dramatically than those that are purely domestic. In order to limit the impact of the wavering dollar, you should focus on driving sales using limited-time offers and special promotions. Additionally, you might need to be flexible with pricing throughout the election cycle.

    2016electionbiz2Enthused Employees

    Employees are just as susceptible to the turbulent emotions of elections as your customers. Oftentimes, employees will dwell on rowdy political debates instead of their daily duties, which may cause productivity to dwindle and sales to dip.

    To prevent this, you need to satisfy your employees’ craving for election-related engagement while encouraging them to focus on what they are paid to do. It could be beneficial to hire an expert to speak about the nation’s political outlook and better inform your workforce on key issues that may affect your company’s stability. Throughout the election cycle, you should watch your employees and reward those who maintain a high standard for work despite the democratic fervor around them.

    Political Patronage

    It is well-known that corporations often make substantial donations to particular campaigns, and your company could stand to gain by backing the promoters of certain political proposals. Inarguably, some candidates advocate policies that are not beneficial to every business, while others endorse plans that could boost your bottom line. By financially supporting the political campaign that has your needs at heart, you stand a better chance of surviving and thriving through a new political era.

    However, it is important to remember that your campaign contributions could defy the opinions and desires of other important members of your business. If your shareholders or employees oppose your choice, you may want to refrain from contributing company funds until a consensus is reached.

    Strong Strategy

    Perhaps the best move any company can make during the volatility of an election year is to stay put. Though it seems that elections become longer and longer, the effect of democracy on the market is relatively short-lived. Before the election gets into full-swing, you should establish your financial objectives for the next year and avoid making any drastic changes to those goals.

    By the time next November rolls around, you will have weathered the worst of the storm, and you can begin reacting to any changes to the economic climate. After all — the election process shouldn’t be your biggest worry: The next political leaders should be.

    Dan Schawbel is the Managing Partner of Millennial Branding, a Gen Y research and consulting firm. He is the New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of Promote Yourself: The New Rules For Career Success (St. Martin’s Press) and the #1 international bestselling book, Me 2.0: 4 Steps to Building Your Future (Kaplan Publishing), which combined have been translated into 15 languages.

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