A Lesson on Brand Clarity from Canada’s Conservative Party

By Donald Cooper

The Conservative Party of Canada (CPC) keeps choosing leaders who are unelectable and who are despised by at least half of the party’s members. The reason is simple, they don’t know who they are.

What’s the reason for their total lack of brand clarity? It’s simple. The current CPC is an unhappy cobbling together of the more moderate ‘red Tories’ and the ultra-conservative ‘blue Tories’ in 2003 – an attempt to ‘unite the right’.

But the moderate ‘red Tories’ and the ultra-conservative ‘blue Tories’ are fundamentally different and don’t get along, so the party can never be successful. Whichever side of the party gets their way as to who the leader will be, the other side of the party disrespects and sabotages that leader.

Stephen Harper was the great exception. He was our Conservative Prime Minister from 2006 to 2015 and he made it work with his combination of personal strength and political smarts. But since then, it’s been a disaster.

Using a business metaphor, today’s Conservatives lack brand clarity. They don’t have clear brand values that resonate with enough of the population. Their brand message is inconsistent, confused and conflicting. They don’t know who they are, so we don’t know who they are.

It says in the Old Testament, “When the trumpet gives forth an uncertain sound, who then shall prepare for the battle?” That sums up the Conservative Party quite well.

So, what about the brand clarity in your business? Do you have clear and compelling value proposition, clear and compelling brand values and a clear and appealing brand personality that grabs your target customers, clearly differentiates you from your competitors and makes you famous? If not, what will it do to fix what needs fixing? And by when will you do it?

Here’s something else to think about:

Quote of the week: “We become what we hire. You can’t create an extraordinary business by hiring ordinary people!”

Quick business tip: The ‘hiring process’ is part screening and part marketing. Once you’ve screened a candidate and found them to be a good fit, you need to market your business to them as a wise career choice.

As with marketing to your target customers, you need to understand what top-performers value, what they want and what they fear. Below is some helpful insight on this:

What’s on a job candidate’s mind?

  • Will I have an opportunity to make a difference?
  • How will this job help me grow my career and grow as a person?
  • Will I be treated fairly, paid competitively and thanked frequently?
  • How will this job fit in with the other important aspects of my life?
  • Will this be an uplifting place to come to every day?

So, your ‘marketing pitch’ to your top job candidates must better help them answer these five questions.

That’s it for this week. Stay safe! Live brilliantly!

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