UKIP Re-brand? Should it happen, and how?

New brand

A long time ago a businesswoman friend of mine told me how they approached re-branding when they taking over another business.  Her businesses were “fish and chip” shops, bars and night clubs.  What she said is worth considering before any rebrand.  Changing names is a dangerous process, for a business, if handled badly.

First, she advised, for a period after taking over the business there should be no visible signs of the change apart from at the point of service delivery.  This means that existing customers will not be put off by the change.  Over time those loyal customers will learn there is no reduction in quality and will be advised of any rebrand ahead of the process.

The next stage is to advertise the business is “Under New Management”.  Finally the rebrand is done when the customer base has had time to understand it is still delivering the same product and quality or rather a better quality.  Potential new customers, who may have been “put off” by the former proprietors, will see a new business which appears much more attractive.

A tarnished image

The opponents of UKIP have been quite successful in attacking the use of the name of the Nation State in its title.  The Tories more obliquely do the same by using the expression “Unionist” in their title.  The press and media have tried and tried to associate UKIP with elements of the far right, such as the BNP.  An element of that has stuck despite the fact that the party has been fronted by the most reasonable of people who clearly are not of the far right.  That being said there are good reasons for a rebrand.

The Arguments for a rebrand

UKIP, now, has a new role in politics.  Its role is to introduce sanity and sense into the political arena and to prevent the Establishment from destroying the opportunities BREXIT now offers.  There is a need for a fresh pragmatic approach to, well, just about everything.  The Party also needs to see its name higher on the list, on the ballot paper, in elections where the list is sorted alphabetically by party name.  This applies in mayoral elections, the various devolved assemblies etc.  There is evidence the position on the list has a very marked effect on the result.

Choice of the New Name

Perhaps it would be enough to de-emphasise the UK element.  Clearly, though, it would take two or three elections for the electorate to become used to a new name.  If the Electoral Commission will agree, I suggest the party should be rebranded “Independence Party”.  Do not assume the Electoral Commission will allow the change without a fight.  For the first election or two this should be “Independence Party (UKIP).  Let’s face it, everyone knows the party is aiming for Independent Government of the UK.  The Party should also be the party that seeks to enable independence of thought and action and so this title is especially appropriate for the future aims of it.

Most of all there must be a clear vision of what UKIP stands for.  I suggest it should present a new vision of libertarianism.  A truly libertarian society is one where care is taken to ensure everyone can enjoy the liberties it offers.  This should not be a “winner takes all” society.  That is the approach that has ruined our economy and for which the old order is responsible.  Those responsible should hang their head sin shame.

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