Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Where is Brown on the brand life cycle

A good friend, former colleague and now marketing consultant made an off-hand comment on Brown the other day, one of those that you first nod at and then it makes you think. His comment was that "we the general public, have become experts in seeing through packaging - Gordon is a tried and tested 'failed' cillit bang .......shouting louder is a temporary self comforting exercise". So what he is saying is that Brown is largely a failed brand who is simply trying to be noticed in the market place and, perhaps, mistaking all coverage for positive coverage. From my friends analysis, Brown is simply trying to maintain himself as a mature brand wanted by the public (as per below), but is this the case in reality?

Brown has been around long enough to be a brand in decline, particularly in the world of politics. In fact, up until his period as Prime Minister, he was seen only as a peripheral brand perhaps. But has the rebranding of Brown restarted the process, so he is a brand the public are learning about, or is he currently staving off an inevitable quick decline at a time when competitors are seen as less viable options?


If the latter then a quick election is his best move, if the former he has plenty of time. While perhaps these sorts of terms will not be in use within the Number 10 strategy team, the ideas will be front of mind. Will Brown's popularity last or is it a short honeymoon for a brand that seems initially exciting due to the media hype but will quickly wain as the public get tired of seeing him? Maybe it will depend, if he goes for the long period before an election, on how he differentiates himself from Blair and from Cameron, but that is a maybe as public opinion can often be a fickle master.

4 comments:

Heather Yaxley said...

There is a sense of a "new and improved" brand enhancement here recalling washing powder and similar FMCG brands.

Typically that can be seen as coming in as the curve starts to deline and giving a temporary uplift.

However, I wonder if there is an element of the media cat playing with the mouse here. I cannot believe if/when an election is announced, the media won't become much less amenable to the Brown carefully crafted messages than they seem at present.

The good friend said...

A good extrapolation of my belief / intent , I really enjoy the underpinnings ;

I guess the caution here; is the mathematics behind public perception...... as you know polarisation through expensive campaigns, media control, exploitation of world event are very much the factors leading us ( the general public) to a mean ( bell curve), defined by 'the few'. Other places in the world , we simply call this process 'propaganda' .....

You see, 'declining Brands' are sustained very well in some industry where there is monopoly, cartell or simply no substitutes. If we treat politics as a comodity in England, I am sure the Mergers and monopoly commission ....WOULD HAVE INTERVENE STRAIGHT AWAY!!

Darren G. Lilleker said...

Agree with all the comments, big question do 'we' the people treat politics or rather outputs of politics (NHS etc) as commodities or consumables. Perhaps more of a service than a consumable but in the same way something we have expectations in; if so then the vote may be the investment of hope into a management team (an idea borrowed from Richard Scullion) and a non-vote a demonstration of no confidence in those offering to be managers. The latter is the problem of the monopoly.

the good friend said...

However, only if this exchange is bipolar as you are suggesting. Is politics on the otherhand an 'experience good' ? thereby increasing the investments risks through ex ante uncertainties of performances.
The problem is a 'none vote' is still a 'vote' from an economics viewpoint, ie if you vote for labour ( +1 to labour) ergo (-1 to conservative / lib dem and others), if you don't vote its (-1 to labour) and (-1 to conservative, lib dem and others ). We are at the mercy of the of ' the management team' as you put it ...the focus has therefore shifted paradigm from the pursuit of a ' balance of power' to settle merely for a balance of incompetence....