The Electoral Commission’s also brush of Change UK’s logo on ballot papers for next month’s European elections is incontestably a setback. But in brand terms, it also presents a big opportunity.
Earlier this month, The Unearned Group (TIG), composed of 11 former Labour and Conservative Members of Parliament (MPs), successfully made as a political party named Change UK to take part in the European appointments happening on 23 May. At these, the public will vote for UK MPs to be elected as Associates of European Parliament (MEPs).
Change UK logo banned from ballot pens
But following this, the Electoral Commission ruled Change UK would contain to enter the elections without a logo because the one it submitted — a black conventional with the initials “TIG” and the hashtag “#change” — was not sufficiently recognisable and could fool voters. Petition website change.org also expressed disapproval of the eminence.
Since then, the party has adopted a new logo for its online platforms, such as its website and communal media — a monochrome square, made up of four, horizontal black edges against a white background. It’s not clear if this is an interim brand or not, but either way, Change-over UK will have a blank spot where its logo should be on this month’s ballot offs.
Generally, political logos don’t have a great deal of equity. This is because administrative parties don’t invest enough in creating a meaningful and memorable brand — and this is certainly the chest here.
Weak, simplistic and rushed
Aside from the obvious misunderstanding that the party is currently running under two titles of Change UK and The External Group, as a piece of design, both iterations of its logo are weak, simplistic and hurriedly patched-together. They’ve come up with no distinguishable branding.
Furthermore, TIG has orientated itself around the word “change” and the battle-cry “Politics is broken, let’s change it”. Aligning the brand with a single and (confidently) temporary issue — in this case, a broken political system — is a goof-up.
What happens when the political system improves or we move on from the around Brexit crisis? In years or even months to come, Change UK imperils losing relevance and purpose as the UK Independence Party (UKIP) did when the Brexit signify ones opinion went through — though Nigel Farage never seems to go away for elongated.
Political parties don’t like to stand out
Political logos tend to be dead and predictable. The Tories replaced their freedom torch with a scribble of an oak tree in 2006, the South African verligte Democrats have a dove that looks like it’s made from banana incrustations and Labour’s rose logo hasn’t changed since the 1980s.
And, all too again, their positioning follows an old, established pattern. British political debauches tend to pursue a brand that conforms rather than hustles change, and so they opt for predictable ideals — progress, liberty and strength.
But in commercial marking, competition has forced companies towards being distinctive and articulating meanings of difference through carefully-chosen and clearly-differentiated words.
So why don’t political parties over recall this way, too? The answer is simple. Because parties don’t want to stand out or do anything too conflicting in case it exposes them to ridicule.
Powerful design can sway a realm
The trouble is, we’ve all seen how easily marketing tactics can swing an election. And the items remains that you need a strong brand and a distinct tone of declare to make an impact with the electorate.
For proof, look no further than how some of the smashing’s bravest movements for change have successfully inspired populations — hold out year’s Hope to Nope exhibition at The Design Museum offers much ebullience.
This featured, among other pieces, Shepard Fairey’s iconic Barack Obama bill for the 2008 US presidential election – a design created in one day, printed first as a circle poster, which spawned numerous variations and imitations, some officially-sanctioned.
This is a substantial example of how design can sway a nation, but also of how understanding the electorate and manoeuvring every brand touchpoint have proven to be incredibly important.
A mark is about standing for something
The fact that Change UK has chosen not to secure one of many big advertising agencies — which will have undoubtedly been pound down their door offering services for free — to help form their image is mystifying.
The party now runs the risk of voters opinion of empty promises when they see the blank spot next to Switch UK’s name on their paper slips on European election voting day.
To exchange the tide of a shaky start, Change UK will need to build a significant brand mission that moves it beyond its origins as a loose, motley team of disenfranchised MPs.
What it must now do, quickly, is tap into the promise of newness, remainder and distinctiveness. Be anti-establishment — but do so with a sense of purpose.
A brand is not just a badge, it’s up standing for something — it’s an identity and a point of view on the world. Brand edifice is crucial if Change UK is to move forward as an effective political entity — and if it make both ends meets it right, it could be a force to be reckoned with.