Posts Tagged ‘brand’

Labour’s strategic priority must be to demonstrate how it will lead

23/02/2015, 05:52:03 PM

by Jonathan Todd

At the end of last year, I wrote on three reasons for Labour victory in 2015: brand, economy, and leadership. Let’s revisit them.


The Good Right – Tim Montgomerie’s campaign – understands the Tories’ brand problems. There has been a 7 per cent rise over the past year to 85 per cent in the proportion of people that see the Tories as being close to the rich. By having the likes of Peter Stringfellow along to a black and white ball and allowing Lord Fink to mishandle Ed Miliband’s questioning of his tax affairs, the Tory campaign appears determined to win over the remaining 15 per cent.

Reckless decisions over this parliament – the bedroom tax, scrapping the 50p income tax rate, and NHS restructuring – wouldn’t have happened if the Tories had been the Good Right throughout. To use the reported language of Miliband, they are “running out of runway” to turn around the perception before the election that they are “the party of the rich”. Given the Tory leads on economy and leadership, we might wonder what keeps them flat-lining at 30 per cent in the polls and the failure to address this perception is a prime candidate.


What could happen between now and 7 May to eradicate the Tory poll lead on the economy? It’s not hard to imagine scenarios emanating from Greece, the Middle East and Ukraine that have serious negative economic shocks. But would the Tories be blamed? Or the nurse that is held more tightly for fear of something worse?

When looking toward Labour victory, I wrote that George Osborne “overplayed his hand in the Autumn Statement, leaving bombs, unexploded since the 1930s, beneath the Tory campaign”. Have they gone off? Do you discern a widespread anxiety about what Osborne portends for the size and capacities of the state?

If such anxiety were deep enough to overhaul the Tory lead on the economy, we might have expected it to have done so by now. There is an argument – which Uncut has been preeminent in advancing – that if Labour had been clearer about how we’d go far enough on the deficit, the way in which the Tories are going too far would become more apparent and more damaging for them.


Facebook Twitter Digg Delicious StumbleUpon

Three reasons for Labour victory in 2015

31/12/2014, 08:28:22 AM

by Jonathan Todd

Tony Blair might be despondent about Labour’s prospects but all is not lost, there are three reasons for Labour victory in 2015: leadership, economy and brand.

Uncut has consistently warned about the dangers attaching to Labour’s poor polling on leadership and economy. The own goals and gaffes of Conservatives, however, open the door to these improving. Labour enjoys an advantage on brand, which is similarly assisted by Tory missteps.

If David Cameron’s party were a character on Thomas the Tank engine, the Fat Controller would be bellowing at them that they have caused confusion and delay. He’d be saying the same to Labour. Labour is not as popular or convincing as we would like. But Tory error is giving Labour the opportunity, should we seize it, to be marginally and decisively less unpopular and unconvincing.

Labour would be the least unpopular in the unpopularity contest that is this general election. Arriving in government in such circumstances would bring its own challenges. Not least as precipitous demands will be placed on whoever forms the next government by the UK’s fiscal position, underperforming economy and ageing society, as well as looming questions involved with everything from Vladimir Putin’s intentions to Nigel Farage’s staying power about our place in the world.

Someone will have a Labour plan for all of this. Charlie Falconer, perhaps. I think he leads Labour’s preparation for government work. If so, noting his chapter on delivery in the Uncut book, he should call Paul Crowe. The Hollande scenario that troubles Crowe must be averted. One way in which it might become existential for Labour is if UKIP establishes itself as the second party in much of northern England at the general election and then use the frustrations of an administration as disappointing as Hollande’s to further advance.


Facebook Twitter Digg Delicious StumbleUpon

Flowers’ scandal casts shadow over Co-op party

16/07/2014, 03:58:18 PM

The welter of awful headlines that have greeted revelations about the Co-op Bank and its colourful former Chairman, Paul Flowers, in recent months seems to have left behind something of a ‘brand contamination’ problem for the Co-operative Party.

So much so that it’s General-Secretary, Karin Christiansen, has just written out to its members asking for donations to help fund a “scaling up” of the party’s media work because “too many journalists are getting their facts wrong”.

The aim is to raise £10,000 through small donations to help with efforts to target journalists and commentators and improve understanding of how the party “fit[s] into the wider movement.”

Christiansen adds: “Recent media coverage has misrepresented the Party, and confused our relationship with the Labour Party and the Co-operative Group. It’s incredibly frustrating, and leaves too much of our good work unnoticed.”

Facebook Twitter Digg Delicious StumbleUpon

Occupy’s marketing lesson for Labour

15/02/2012, 07:00:49 AM

by Peter Goddard

Despite an unbeatable city centre location, great transport links and, eventually, welcoming neighbours, it looks like London’s newest bijou residential opportunity – the Occupy camp at St.Pauls – is about to close its doors, or more accurately tent flaps.

Although a judgement on eviction has been postponed until 22nd February, it seems that even without the attention of the judiciary, time is running out for the not so happy campers.

The Telegraph reports “a leading group member” all but admitting the disintegration of the site, quoting: “it really is tough. People always ask about the cold, but the cold is the least of it. We have people with alcohol and drug addiction issues, we have people with mental health problems and very challenging behaviour”.

Thus the media narrative about the Occupiers seems set.

The campers were idealistic, they were naïve, they were probably long-haired and smelly. Despite their best efforts, big bonuses will still be paid (in the private sector at least), business will carry on as usual and, all in all, nothing will have been changed.

From a news perspective, the story of Occupy is coming to an end, the campers ultimately undone by their own lack of organisation and inability to express their needs beyond an angry cry of rage.

In one sense, this is right. It certainly describes the facts. But let’s not forget that although the media loves an easy story arc, the real world often offers much more interesting, and useful complexity.


Facebook Twitter Digg Delicious StumbleUpon

Let’s learn from the Tories and detoxify our brand

21/02/2011, 09:05:51 AM

by Peter Watt

There has been much debate since the general election about whether the toxicity of the Conservative brand led to them falling short of an overall majority. Proponents of this theory hold that while David Cameron had gone some way towards detoxifying the Conservative brand, he had not gone far enough. The result was that, although the public had decided that they certainly didn’t want a Labour government, they hadn’t yet decided that they wanted a Conservative one.

If this was the case, and I suspect that it was, then this latent brand toxicity remains a problem for team Cameron.  The government is currently being defined by one (economic) policy – cuts.  Everything it does and says is, however unfairly, seen through that prism. Welfare reform – driven by cuts; public service reform – driven by cuts; “big society” – masking cuts. No matter how hard he tries, David Cameron simply can’t seem to get any other story up about what his government is for, or its vision. (more…)

Facebook Twitter Digg Delicious StumbleUpon