MONDAY 4 MAR 2019 4:01 PM

THE INDEPENDENT GROUP’S NEED FOR AN IDENTITY

After the creation of the Independent Party (TIG) on 18 February, London-based branding and design agency Williams Murray Hamm has crafted branding ideas for the budding party. The Nice Party and the Open Party are the two names that the agency pitched for Chuka Umunna’s 11-strong band of anti-Brexit, pro-EU, centrist MPs.

The agency has also taken the liberty of creating ads that the potential party could use to frame its hypothetical new name, agenda and manifesto, if they become organised enough to need such a thing.

The Nice Party idea strengthens TIG’s insistence that it is apart from the mainstream political parties’ shouting match of negativity and blame — that it is simply a bunch of good, polite people moving forward in a nice way. The second approach looks at the fact that TIG’s MPs have crossed party lines to join together. So, the Open Party is a group that is open to everyone and is advocating for an open United Kingdom.

Though it’s all wordplay at this stage, it is an important issue for the new party to consider. Andrew Hughes, marketing, political communication and political psychology researcher at the Australian National University, explains that choosing the right brand name for a political party can enhance awareness, help create a favourable brand image for a newly created group and enhance recall of the party. The more information that can be associated with a brand name due to its attributes, benefits and attitudes, the higher the level of consumer association and consumer awareness.

Wybe Magermans, managing director of Williams Murray Hamm, says, “At the moment, TIG are very vanilla, or else they’re sending out mixed messages, and if you don’t have a punchy, positive brand, you’re going to get lost in today’s political cacophony. They very quickly need to define what their purpose is and what they stand for – or else they will die before they’re even born.”

The need for an identity may become more acute as 36% of respondents of a YouGov survey responded favourably when asked if they would consider voting for the Independent Group if it ran as a party. That percentage is higher than every other political party except for the Conservative party, toward which 38% of respondents responded favourably when asked about voting action. With so much interest focused its way, TIG needs to move past simply saying “politics is broken” to successfully define its political agenda if it hopes to ride this momentum.

 

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