I appeared on the BBC’s #politicslive coverage of today’s budget talking about Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s deliberately contrived promotion of his personal brand.
All politicians have brands to some extent.
What makes a political brand a good one is one that is distinctive, consistent, appealing and effectively communicated.
Developing a strong political brand in the minds of the public usually takes significant time, money and talent.
The Conservative Party have invested in Rishi Sunak’s brand because in political communication the message carrier is often as important as the message.
To win with the public the Tories know that they need politicians with brands that are different from the Conservative “master brand” taking their messages to the country (see: Boris Johnson and Ruth Davidson for other recent and successful examples).
Whilst the overt personal brand building might seem slightly obscene to politicos, the more ridiculous the social media posts that promote the Chancellor’s image, the more comments and shares they get, which gets Sunak in front of more people.
And whilst it might leave a slightly odd taste in the mouth to those watching closely, many people will fleeting see a progressive, energetic and enthusiastic politician trying to do his best.