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April 16, 2005

You are invited to co-blog The Legacy of Tony Blair

The story might surprise you - it's there to be written, hopefully faster than value mapping of Unseen Wealth (aka learning to network sustainability or intangibles investment analysis)

It is of course a story of a good man
Who thought he knew how to use mass media, just when best use of global media had turned round, at least I vote so

Of a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage, or behind a bush

Of whether 6 billion are to be or not

So remembering that the systemic challenges of becoming a networked world were always (or at least for the 30 years I have researched and conceptualised options of them)
whether we could simultaneously take a bastardised thing economics above zero-sum and a bastardised dumbing down media into multiplying learning openly for all people

UK mob 0793 144 2446
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April 12, 2005

If I could have a cent for every time the brand has been resurrected since 1988 

It started for me when I was the deep throat source for The Economist's 1998 survey The Year of the Brand. Unfortunaltely, just as the same time the most wicked numbers game to ever hit communications of human relationships came to be invented : brand valuation. Anyone who led by those numbers killed off thousands of brand. One day IBM was even predicted to have negative worth; the brand valuers did not reply to my offer to pay a penny for the brand rights. Or marlboro ghad its Friday by exploiting the short-term power that wicked ads give to price rise hikes for so long that a whole market of generic brand undercut it, and within a week most brand stocks were cut by 20% or more. What actually died was that system of brand manageemnt which siloised the brand as advertsising rather than connecting its promise s with the trust-flow or whole living goodwill systemised across the companny's relationships with stakeholders- to suatin or die that has always been the Boardroom's question. But recently with rewards paid for what you perform over the last year, not what future you help people co-create boards like Enron, Andersen, Worldcom and 50 others have clearly chosen death for sharkeholers and all purspoeful parties connected with a global organsiation's local impacts.

Now as Tom tells me the life/death debate is hotting up here

An extract being :
Cooling off on off-brand uses of too-hot word 'brand'

When the New Yorker reporter Jeffrey Goldberg asked Sen. John Kerry whether the Democrats had a credibility problem on defense controversies, the party's titular leader replied without equivocation, "Look, the answer is, we have to do an unbranding." As Kerry saw it, the political problem had to do with salesmanship: "We have to brand more effectively. It's marketing." An editor on the linguistic qui vive titled Goldberg's article about the Democrats' need to shuck off the appearance of weakness "The Unbranding."

The hot word in the field of sales — indeed, pervading the world of perfect pitching — is brand.

"The King Is Dead, Long Live His Brand" is The New York Times headline above an article about the way "Michael Jordan is being mortalized so his sneakers can stay in the game." That's because "building a brand on the back of a legend works only until that back breaks."

The noun blazed on the scene a thousand years ago as a burning stick, and the meaning soon transferred to the mark left on the skin of a horse or a criminal by such a stick, or branding iron. That mark became the sign of infamy: Richard Hooker wrote in 1597 of an age marked "with the brand of error and superstition," and later, a firebrand became the symbol of an inflammatory rabble-rouser.

The burned-in mark, in the 19th century, began to signify ownership not just of an animal but also of liquids in wooden casks, like wine or ale. The brand-mark became a "trademark," and in the 20th century the designated item so labeled became a brand. In 1929, Fleischmann's Yeast absorbed the coffee maker Chase & Sanborn and other companies to form Standard Brands (now a part of Kraft), in hopes that brand names would produce brand loyalty. A generation later, David Ogilvy, the advertising executive, was dubbed by the author Martin Mayer in 1958 as an "apostle of the 'brand image"' who sought to persuade the consumer "that brand A, technically identical with brand B, is somehow a better product." Within two years, the novelist Kingsley Amis extended brand image from a product to a genre: "mad scientists attended by scantily clad daughters" constitute "the main brand-image of science fiction."

As the millennium ended, consumers wanted to become closely associated with famous names. ..At first, most of us attributed that parading of labels to snob appeal, or derogated it as a need by vacuous, lemminglike buyers to find a spurious identity in some highfalutin or jazzy product line. But an alternative, libertarian view of the branding phenomenon was soon presented: "It's a new brand world," wrote Tom Peters in the magazine Fast Company in 1997, playing on the compound adjective brand-new.

In an article titled "The Brand Called You," Peters argued that "the main chance is becoming a free agent in an economy of free agents ... looking to establish your own microequivalent of the Nike swoosh. Everyone has a chance to be a brand worthy of remark."

Oh joy to the world, what an American view of brand we will be tidal waved in unless we stand up for living brand diversity at every corner we coordinate we can map. and learn to network through Fringe and any global scales all the people's goodwill can connect.
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April 06, 2005

UK Election Brand Series & 5-Year Reviews Post 1 

Seen in Branding terms, forget the superbowl spots, the most expensive communications exercises in history happen during each so-called democratic country's election period. The 5 year review time is up in the UK and oddly it corresponds to a series of other 5 year reviews the people are making. A few of which are:

the millennial promise (Blair's first great whopper but then it was fanned by 15 EU countries all promising Europen a new world in the Lisbon Vision 2010 which Prodi was honest enough to admit has actually gone backward's as a people's reality when he retired from Brussels last year) of a newly improved e-world and the reality of what ordinary people have to contend with in 2005

whether any Briton could possibly want to pay for another 10 years of the BBC (British Braodcasting Corporation) unless it gets its investigative world service rapiers ready to cut off the heads of offending big people- what for example has the global pharma industry been doing as chief addict officers - read this UK government report out yesterday for one of the most damning indictements not just of individual brands but the whole industry - are its pecuniary golas so over-riding that its about health care or death uncare? there's a simple way to resolve this if you are globally concerened , come link transparent information on world health care at this blog and then get your public broadcasters trained to read this before they report any news soundbites on the industry's quarterly acts. This model incidentally can work for making any worldwide market transparent - tell us if you want to be the people's open guardian for a sector that matetrs most to the future of uyou and yours and we'll help you open source the gameboard

what about the future of education; here in this internet we have the heaven sent opportunity to muliply learning (something whose value goes up in use unlike physically comsumed stuff); but which country's schools are using the internet to make exploratory learning better - why is this search a story of heroic exceptions rather than common goog experiments. Again the BBC's utter ineptitude in covering this story suggest both it and UK government are utterly worthless constructs until they start spinning each other the people's way round for love and joy and growth rather than hate and fear and depression

Sick governments; sick media; sick loss of transparent valuation measurement- systemise this much longer and Orwell's vision of Big Brother will be like paradidse on earth compared with what are communications follies are compounding

There is one bit of good news around London. And it comes from the very opposite of controlling pwoers- the people's hearts in a post-Tsunami world. Have you ever heard of 5000 grassroots organsiations getting togtehr to save the world from poverty in a process that has made more progress in 12 months that all the governments of Europe oover the last 5 years. If not as a communications expert get involved at 1 and 2

Part 2 coming soon
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April 04, 2005

Could it be that America's & Britains' greatest national disadvantages have the same source? 

This is quite a puzzle - but I'd vote yes- its the mass media stupid but for different dumbing down reasons

we know that in America commercial broadcast media has made speech anything but free and anything but true (see; we know too that there's hardly a second on American tv that makes someone's learning/productivity greater (well what was the last program that you would have justified in terms of a true learning experience)

alas poor Britain; you would think that with every family pating over 200 US dollars a year that the BBC would at least care about the people ; but it doesnt it panders to government (as we can see in the way the whole weapons of mass destruction went down Hutton's tube) and it fails to develop the sorts of inteligenvce formats that could help the people debate where all there money is going:

where did pensions ogo? where did health care go? where did schooling go?

what are some programnes that an intelligent BBC would cover? where did world development aid go? where did public order go?

How about trend news? Keep an eye on what five year trends change alarmingly and then investigate them with a documentary that starts a public conversation goindg and continuous longafter into a vibrand web debate. If the BBC did this proactively, we wouldnt have to wait for MPs to report the alarming staistics on how much has been spent recently on making us addicts to global pharma companies - surely something that a BBC debate in time could have halted before we wasted so much money and health on this rot
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