Monday, October 25, 2010

Coke or Pepsi?

The Power of Brands: Vision to Reality: The Reut Blog

The Reut Blog uses as an example an article by the scurrilous writer, Stuart Littlewood, to highlight 'branding' as the apotheosis of the fact-free, Blink-world we are in wherein the message must make its point convincingly and instantaneously or lose audience share.
In a Dubai newspaper recently, Littlewood contended that Hamas will need to re-brand its image to no longer be perceived as a terrorist organization: "Hamas must do (within chosen limits, of course) whatever it takes to abolish its sinister image and make the rest of the world feel comfortable.  It must erase its ‘terrorist’ reputation, whether justified or not. It must re-brand, open the door and make itself more approachable."

Says the Reut blogpost, "Littlewood’s article is a good example, of what the Reut Institute terms the ‘clash of brands’ – Israel being branded an aggressor while its enemies are branded as peaceful social movements.

"The Gaza Flotilla provides an effective example of how potent this branding has become. The clash at sea between the IDF and the Mavi Marmura was also a clash of three brands. Israel’s which had been effectively associated with belligerence and a disregard for international law; Hamas’, which has been identified with social activism and resistance to the occupation; and the Delegitimization Network’s, which has been associated with the concern for a humanitarian crisis in Gaza. In this context, Israel had no chance of ‘winning’ regardless of the facts of what actually happened. Therefore, re-branding Israel and changing the values associated with it is critically important to fighting delegitimization." 
It's kind of like the Coke and Pepsi battle in the parallel universe: Israel has been 'branded' a Nazi State, an Apartheid State, a Killer of Babies, a Human Organ Thief, a Colonial/Imperialist Outpost, a Seeker of World Domination and on and on. Meanwhile the delegitimizers have somehow convinced so many that they are the Brand of Peace, Justice, Protectors of Human Rights and Freedom.

If only the Reut Institute could implement a program for the analysis it does so well.

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