Branding and franchising, which are common features of commerce, have, more recently, permeated into politics in a number of ways. However, this development has received limited academic attention, an omission which this article addresses. More specifically, it has two main aims. Firstly, we develop a heuristic for analysing the relationship between branding and politics. Here, our intention is to stimulate discussion and, as with any heuristic, this one will stand or fall depending on whether other researchers find it useful. Secondly, we critically examine the relationship between political marketing/branding and governance and democracy. Here, we argue strongly that it is essential to develop a more critical political marketing/branding agenda. This research agenda would be much less instrumental in its research concerns and draw on broader epistemological and theoretical perspectives, allowing it to interrogate the relationship between marketing/branding and democracy in more depth than is the case at present.