Saturday, 13 February 2010

Is the Branding Consistent with the Message?

Back in the old days around 2007/8, before the truth of Gordy Broontroosers wilful destruction of the British economy was widely understood, life seemed good.

We all felt wealthy, the future looked bright, and even the looming disaster on the horizon looked manageable with a positive outlook - just 'vote blue and go green' we were told.

How things change. The future looks grim but not because of global warming - increasingly we don't believe in that anymore and frankly no-one really wanted to go and live in the woods anyway. Our slightly old-fashioned hippyesque pretensions seem inappropriate and strangely extravagant now.

But the trouble for the Conservatives is that their branding, and some of their values were formulated in the old days. Does it seem appropriate now?

As Matthew Parris points out here, there is great danger in being out-of-step. And a logo or a branding should be consistent with the message and the values it projects. At a psychological level it should seem in balance and support what we should feel about the brand.

So is the 'new' Conservative logo out-of-step. Do the slightly wishy-washy colours chime more with 'hug-a-hoodie' sentiments than with 'bash a banker/tough economic choices' type feelings?

Instinctively do you feel that this better projects what makes Conservatism more appealing:

or does does this?

Do the bolder colours create a better sense of solidity and strength. Does the italicised typeface suggest a need to move forward and get on with it - a greater sense of urgency.

Branding matters. Would you buy a box of cereal if it had a poor picture of some dried-up looking muck on the outside? - obviously not. The branding needs to reflect what's 'in the box'. And if the branding makes you think there is something else in the box, it doesn't matter what it is that is actually in the box - you aint going to buy it - so you'll never know.

But isn't it too late for the Conservatives to completely re-brand now? No. But it would be a major distraction.

But I do think they should be aware that some of the problems they are having now, are because people felt more positive about the old messages in the old days and attached them to the brand - which is still being used.

So despite having been through a brand decontamination exercise in the not so long ago, I do think it could do with a bit of freshening up now. I am not suggesting taking a leap to my other option above - but perhaps small steps in that direction.

Just an 'ickle point - but if the election date is May 6th and the day dawns bright and blue, voting for a party with a big tree and light colours will 'feel' right. If Gordy pulls a fast one (and I think he might) and goes early then the same advantage will not be there.


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