Politics is how we brand economics… and in brands we make decisions based on vision.
The referendum debate has been largely “vision-free’, and instead obsessed with how we deal with austerity and immigration.
“Shall we stay or leave to tackle austerity?”
“Shall we stay or leave to tackle immigration?”
In 2050, the global population is set to reach 9 billion people from 6 billion today. The logical mathematical conclusion and the symmetry of the numbers therefore suggests that our UK population will grow from 60 million to 90 million, meaning the UK population will grow whether we are in or out.
The same cannot be said for the economy. All we know with certainty is that uncertainty is not the bedfellow of economic growth.
The debate has been without a brand vision for Britain.
A BRAND MANAGER WOULD ASK:
1. What is the brand vision for ‘Brand Britain’ after the referendum?
2. Will ‘in’ or ‘out’ deliver that vision?
A BRAND MANAGER WOULD QUICKLY OBSERVE THAT THE DOMESTIC MARKET ALONE COULD NOT SUSTAIN ‘BRAND BRITAIN’.
They would conclude that the growth necessary to navigate austerity and establish a post referendum vision has to be generated from international markets.
A BRAND MANAGER WOULD ASK THESE SIMPLE ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS:
1. What will the rest of the world want?
2. Can ‘Brand Britain’ make and/or supply what they want?
3. How can ‘Brand Britain’ be sharpened to connect international demand with ‘Brand Britain’s’ supply?
A BRAND MANAGER WOULD MAKE SOME ASSUMPTIONS ABOUT THE GLOBAL MARKET:
- The cost benefits of low cost production countries are diminishing
- Pressures are increasing on countries and their products to conform to realistic notions of sustainability
- Demand is increasing for those products that can be bought in a global marketplace with a clear conscience
- Consumers are sacrificing individual liberties in exchange for communal security
- Almost half the world’s population live in cities, half of that population live alone
- In developed markets the population over 60 is growing faster than that under 16
- The cost of “material wealth” is “time poverty”
- Work-style will begin to replace lifestyle
- Health and well-being have become a source of meaning and orientation
- Political and economic power is centring on China, the USA, Europe and Russia.
A BRAND MANAGER WOULD LOOK AT OUR HISTORIC STRENGTHS:
They will find in ‘Brand Britain’ a brand of science and discovery, and then leadership in thought, practice, process and progress.
Of the world’s 851 Nobel Laureates 14% are British – yet the British occupy less than 1% of the world’s population.
They would then probably conclude that ‘Brand Britain’ are leaders in creation and invention, and that ‘Brand Britain’ has the creative capacity to innovate for the world’s future needs.
However there are also weaknesses.
Yes, Britain did invent the jet engine, the computer and the internet, but Britain is not the home of world-leading transport, the world’s best computer companies, or internet giants.
The brand manager will observe that it is not British invention and creativity that is deficient, it is British enterprise.
‘Brand Britain’ has the capacity to innovate and design what the rest of the world needs, but British enterprise has to be able to commercialise it.
Britain’s “world USP” could be ‘innovation’ but we need improvement at joining up “commerce”
Are we best placed to do this, inside or outside Europe?
The decision could rest on which route best enables us to join invention with investment, and creativity with commerce.
The instincts of a brand manager are to simplify and amplify. They would create a post referendum vision for Britain that would unify and lead.
A brand manager would not only be driven by “in” or “out”, they would be driven by a vision…
A VISION FOR A UNITED KINGDOM
A KINGDOM UNITED BY TALENT
A KINGDOM UNITED BY INVENTION
A KINGDOM UNITED BY INNOVATION
A KINGDOM UNITED BY ENTERPRISE