Two words immediately struck me this morning as I did my usual trawl of news sites – they were “brand” and “Britain”.
Taken separately they are two words which wouldn’t necessarily leap out at you. But when joined together, they immediately brought a frown to my face.
In this case it is Lord Digby Jones – former CBI boss and former GOAT (Government of All the Talents) minister for Gordon Brown – who believes the British Airways strike is damaging to “brand Britain”.
I’ll be honest and say most of what the man who would be elected Mayor of Birmingham had to say about the implications of the industrial dispute passed over me. But those two words did strike a chord.
So what is “brand Britain”?
We had all that Cool Britannia nonsense when Tony Blair swept to power and thankfully that eventually died an indecent death.
I’m not sure how you would brand this country these days.
Is it shaped by our elected decision-makers?
Is it based on the way we do business?
Is it formed partly on our attitude towards education and training?
Is it shown in what we regard as entertainment these days.
I’ve obviously taken a somewhat negative and cynical view of modern Britain, but then that is the problem we face when trying to identify a brand.
It is the same problem faced by the smallest companies and the largest, wealthiest countries. And whatever brand identity you come up, you’ll never please everyone (or anyone?).
The BA strike hasn’t damaged “brand Britain”, mainly because it doesn’t exist.