Brand Politics: Remaining revolutionary — the challenges of leadership

by Alistair Mackay (@almackay) How ruling parties in post-colonial democracies in Africa respond to their decline is one of the most important tests for a new democracy. Leading private-sector brands are put to the same test: do they respond to declining relevance by reinventing themselves or do they fail?

Brand Politics: Everything’s political

by Alistair Mackay (@almackay) It seems to me that South African brands are much less inclined to venture into cultural and political debate. It’s not surprising, given our cultural diversity and fears of offending people, and our track record of angrily shutting down debate. But it’s not great for building meaningful brands, either.

Brand Politics: The reign of the evangelists

by Alistair Mackay (@almackay) Brand evangelists can be hugely damaging for a brand, whether in politics or the private sector. It’s not just people bad-mouthing a brand that can influence others to avoid it; it’s the characteristics of those singing its praises, too.

Brand Politics: After-sale marketing — where political branding falls down flat

by Alistair Mackay (@almackay) Political parties really don’t get after-sale marketing. Just as with consumers after having made an important and expensive purchase, emotions run high after an election and the risk of “buyer’s remorse” is real.

Brand Politics: Seeing red — what EFF teaches us about brand-building

by Alistair Mackay (@almackay) I can think of very few brands that have risen to prominence as quickly as the EFF has. Even Google and Facebook, the textbook meteoric risers, took a few years to establish themselves. The political party has done it by applying some fundamental marketing principles, and some clever guerrilla-marketing tactics.

Brand Politics: The rules of branding ayisafani

by Alistair Mackay (@almackay) One good thing to have come out of this #ayisafani debacle, I hope, is that it has taught white South Africans a bit about conjugation in isiZulu! The phrase, which translates as “it is no longer the same”, has been expertly used by the Democratic Alliance in a recent campaign across TV and social media.

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