Branding – promising to deliver certain qualities – is as relevant to politicians as it is to corporations, reported the Toronto Star Dec. 15. Heading into Thursday’s French-language debate, and Friday’s round in English, the brands won’t be as easy to identify because they largely haven’t been established. To their credit, all of the federal Canadian parties know they need a strong brand, said Ashwin Joshi, marketing professor at York’s Schulich School of Business. But it’s difficult to develop an effective one. Harper, like Martin, has not established a definite brand and is currently testing a few. So far, he has tried to be the “tax-cutter” by proposing to slash the GST, and then the “family man” by promoting the $1,200 baby bonus, said Joshi. During the debates, Joshi said, viewers should expect leaders to answer two questions that will promote their brands: Why should you vote for us? and, Why should you not vote for the other party?
- James Laxer