08/10/2012 05:36 EDT | Updated 10/10/2012 05:12 EDT

REBRAND: The Liberal Party's Makeover Challenge

CP/Media Ball

You can't say that I didn't offer -- oh yes, I did.

Every time one of those nice, young earnest canvassers called me on the phone from the Liberal party, I told them the same thing -- that I would be happy to give them money if only they would spend some time getting a coherent brand strategy together.

And, that I would be happy to volunteer to do so just so they wouldn't embarrass the crap out of themselves a second time around -- the first pounding was bad enough!

And so each and every one of those earnest young folks promised to pass on my messsage to HQ -- either they lied and didn't bother, or HQ is tone deaf and doesn't give a monkey's ear about getting their act together

Shame on you Liberal party, backroom leaders either way.

You have taken a party that I cared about for most of my adult life and made me ashamed to say that I vote Liberal -- I'm mad at you, damn it, and you should care about that.

And so, because you party people clearly have lost the way, I'm going to be way presumptuous and give you my five cents on the matter whether you like it or not.

First off -- get clear on your brand promise -- the "we are the other guys" platform just doesn't cut it.

I have no idea what you are all about anymore and creating more "Liberal red books" with more blather about "roadmaps to success" do you no favours.

Do the heavy lifting and complete a brand assessment.

Do you have any idea what you look like from a 360 POV? Where you fit in your category?

What is the party (company) assessment and do you understand the strengths/weaknesses/opportunities/threats to your party? How you stack up against the competition -- for heaven's sake you got trounced by the NDP last election, that should be some indication that not only did you miss the bus, you missed the streetcar, subway, Greyound, bike path ... need I go on?

And at the end of all that -- what's your major brand challenge?

Do you have any idea why Canadians so violently rejected you last election?

I have some sense, but since you haven't returned any of my calls, I'm not telling!

Listen up Liberal Party -- a brand is both functional and emotional from the end user POV -- the user asks him or herself, "Hmmm, what do I get when I buy the Liberal party?

Well at this red hot moment and from this user's POV ....

Functionally, I get a party that has squandered its brand assets.

Emotionally, well, I am feeling so very disappointed and let down.

There is so much work to do:

  • Do the heavy lifting and get together an objective third party view of your brand.

  • Identify your major brand challenge and be honest about the gaps between where you are now as a party and your vision for the future.

  • Streamline your messaging architecture and stick with it.

  • Do some reputation recovery -- you owe some of us apologies.

  • An most importantly, get some clean, clear, NEW energy in the back room.

Last thought ...

Collective myopia doesn't make for clear brand strategy.

That much I know to be true.