If we take the view that brand is about promise fulfilled, it involves having an inspirational bit and a down to earth bit which knows which things are crucial in a system sense and which are not. If something is fundamentally broken – technically – it can’t be fixed with spin.
People with an arts/humanities/social science background – and this IS the background of New Labour – believe that perception is reality.
It’s not – always. If you are on the Titanic and it hits an iceberg the boat sinks – however strong your perception of unsinkability.
In the days when we were a manufacturing nation, we had large slabs of the population that were socialised into the idea that getting the detail right technically mattered. If your structural calculations are wrong then people tend to die a lot.
But New Labour, used to dealing with issues of political correctness is caught flat footed if it has to deal with anything real – like the uncalculated consequences of some its environmental policies. Creating a situation where councils have to impose punitive fines on hapless dustbin miscreants to pay for dealing with the strait jacket that central government policy has put on them – not least the need to achieve equal pay for women in the local government workforce.
What really brought this to a head for me was an interview I heard on farming today the other day. (I’ve just been on holiday in Turkey so I’ve been up 2 hours before normal taking my normal 7.30 cuppa at 5.30 UK time and enjoying radio 4 via the satellite link)
Those of you not involved in farming or growing (i.e. pretty much everybody) will not be aware that there’s a fairly serious bee problem called Varroa. Varroasis is an infestation by the parasitic mite Varroa destructor. Since reaching this country in 1992, it has become endemic throughout the U.K. and most of the world. Your colonies will have varroa mites. Doing nothing is not an option – without treatment colonies will die within 3 years.
So on Farming Today we had some hapless booby of a Junior Minister denying it’s endemic and saying there’s no need to spend any more money on inspectors. We had inspectors laying down the seriousness of the situation and the total lack of resources to deal with it and the New Labour clone trying to spin it away. As this was a replay of a parliamentary committee interview the MPs were getting well stuck in.
Because the bottom line, gentle reader is NO BEES = NO AGRICULTURE = NO FOOD. (well nearly)
And of course we were treated to the usual response – no-one from the ministry was available to discuss the issue on the programme. Does this remind anyone of the tactics of the PR boys on T5 day?
You see they know how to handle image – but give them an ugly little fact and they can’t hack it.
This is the hallmark of a failed brand.
Because Real Brands can do both