Tom Dougherty, CEO – Stealing Share
4 May 2017
Political Rebranding. It’s Needed.
Political Party Rebranding
Is it time for political parties to think about a political rebranding? It may well be the next challenge in the political landscape. (Read about political parties today.)
Political rebranding is not extreme
I’m not speaking of a political party changing its name. I’m speaking about something less superficial and more fundamental. The changes that make political rebranding eminent are the same currents that are rewriting the landscape. Maybe the parties need a rebranding company?
Republican, Democrat, Labour, Conservative, Independent, Green, and/or Libertarian – all are redefined by current trends. As a result, the labels used to define affiliation are no longer clear.
The main British Political Parties. Labour and Conservative.
It’s not the names. It’s the MEANING that needs rebranding.
Descriptors define beliefs
What does it mean to say you are a conservative voter today? A liberal voter? No matter the answer, you might find the attributes ascribed less than accurate. As a result, they no longer work.
A liberal today might be fiscally conservative. A conservative might not support the building of a wall.
Brand needs to be cleaner. So, the race is on to find the highest emotional intensity that defines the labels. The winners will be the party that gets there first.
“Branding rules dictate that identification needs clarity. Political parties today lack that consistency.”
New political movements defy old labels
The dictionary defines a conservative. They are individuals holding to traditional attitudes and values and cautious about change or innovation, typically in relation to politics or religion.
A liberal is a person open to new behavior or opinions and willing to discard traditional values.
Think about the US government today
Are these definitions still viable? I am sure they are not.
Would the building of a wall represent no change or innovation? Would the same wall excite openness and a willingness to discard traditional values?
We identify with meanings we can predict.
Trump is not the problem. He is a symptom of the breakdown of brand.
And this is just one of the issues
Call me a liberal or call me a conservative and I will take exception. And so would you. There seems to be no straight party line anymore.
A Republican administration today wants tax cuts and increased spending on infrastructure spending. Agreeing with the smarts or stupidity of each of these does not follow traditional lines. It’s divergent.
We are a world of hybrids.This is the brave new world.
The rules of brand still apply
We need political rebranding because we still seek simplicity. (Read about rebranding here.) We also seek clarity. While no other labels are clearer at present, we will gravitate to a focus.
The political reality is a 50-50 split. The battle for importance is in stealing share, not retention. But, to Republicans, the term LIBERAL is akin to the word CANCER. And, to Democrats, the word CONSERVATIVE has like connotations.
You don’t acquire converts through ridicule. You convert adherents by appealing to existing values.
Brand is about you
Political rebranding needs to happen because traditional labels are muddy. Without clarity and subsequent influence, rebranding might mean new political parties. That’s not what traditional parties want.
The Tories want Labour Party members to switch. Democrats want the same of Republican voters. Without REAL values descriptors, I would think the winners will be Green, Independent and Libertarian.
Why? Because we all know who THEY are. And they’re beginning to sound a lot like us.
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