What can marketers learn from Labour’s leadership election?

The UK Labour party have a new leader.  Jeremy Corbyn has achieved a major victory over Yvette Cooper, Andy Burnham and Liz Kendalle.

Credit and congratulations go to Corbyn who following 90 days of campaigning secured 59% of the votes from the 400,000+ who participated.

4000 (2)

The result is also a lesson in the importance of accessibility, choice architecture and growth planning for marketers…

Easy access to the Labour party was key to his success. The barriers to joining the labour party and participating in the vote were very low. Reportedly more than 100,000 registered supporters joined since May paying just £3 to vote. A similar number of full members, paying a small monthly subscription, also signed up. Those eligible to vote more than doubled.

With more than half of voters new to the party and perhaps 90% of these opting for Corbyn the result is less surprising. Easy access heavily influenced the result.

Lesson #1 : Make your brand offer as easily accessible as possible!

The choice architecture also favoured Corbyn. The choices we make are relative – shaped by a comparison to the alternatives. Corbyn’s anti-austerity message and rejection of ‘New Labour’ was a distinct choice. Furthermore his opponents (all linked to recent election failure) would have blurred together in terms of policy and vision.

We are also inclined to select what is most noticeable and salient. Slightly ruffled and usually without a tie Corbyn stood apart from his competitors. Media focus and coverage will have boosted his salience. The Corbyn brand was distinct and difficult to miss.  Jeremy-Corbyn-MP-1 (2)

Lesson #2: Ensure your offer is distinct and salient relative to alternatives!

Corbyn was never going to win by competing for established party members’ votes. His success depended on attracting new supporters to the party and he did this very well.

His new agenda represented a proposition for joining the Labour party – appealing to anti-austerity supporters, younger voters and long-standing Trade Unionists. As the preferred choice of many unions he will have benefited from the member recruitment infrastructure and organisation of Union leaders.

Lesson #3: Focus sharply on where your biggest source of sales will come from!

Congratulations to Jeremy on his extraordinary success.  A success that can inspire and inform marketers as they seek to change behaviour to drive brand growth.

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