Tuesday, 20 November 2012
Have the English Democrats achieved 'brand awareness' in South Yorkshire?
Although “brand awareness” is a professional marketeer’s expression meaning “the likelihood that consumers recognise the existence and availability of a company’s product or service. Creating brand awareness is one of the key steps in promoting a product” as is explained in Investopedia. Brand awareness is a very important element in electoral success.
The conventional marketeer’s view is that most people do not recognise a brand until the fifth time they encounter it. I had a very good example of exactly this in Portsmouth a couple of years ago when, in answering a message I spoke to an OAP in a ward that we standing in. After listening to him enthuse about our leaflet and say that he was definitely going to vote for us, he complained about the fact that he hadn’t heard about us before. I happened to know that in that ward we had leafleted twice in the previous two elections that we stood in (it being a multi-member ward) and he had just had a delivery of his fifth leaflet. He was one of the many people who never listened to local news, never read a newspaper, local or otherwise, and so are very difficult to reach.
It therefore will be obvious that, for a relatively small party of about 3,000 members which does not have a vast amount of resources, it is bound to take years of effort to achieve brand awareness.
In South Yorkshire however we have the happy combination of having won an important executive office in the Mayoralty of Doncaster and our Mayor Peter Davies has been controversial for all the right reasons, so much so that Labour’s Black Ops team “Hope Not Hate” have said:-
“Removing Peter Davies as Mayor of Doncaster is really important. Since being elected he has attacked and undermined trade unions, he has blocked funding for Gay Pride, invited the co-founders of the Campaign Against Political Correctness onto his cabinet to get rid of ‘politically correct non jobs’ and has attacked Black History Month and International Women’s Day.”
We have also created brand awareness in Barnsley, following standing there in the 2011 by-election and we now are fully functioning in both Barnsley and in Doncaster. We are still working on building up Sheffield and Rotherham but certainly hope to achieve the latter in the current by-election.
It is interesting to note however that brand awareness does not necessary translate into actual success - as has been vividly demonstrated by UKIP. Despite having a national profile and now receiving, if anything, more coverage from the BBC than their electoral results justly entitle them to, they were unable to capitalise on their £100,000 (some said more) spend in the Barnsley Central by-election, where despite a much smaller budget (less than £1,000 all told) we sauntered past them in the Police Commissioner elections. They hardly registered on second preferences, whereas Labour were very nervous at the count that if second preferences were counted that we might actually win the election! UKIP’s curse is that their brand awareness includes the view that they are a single issue party and therefore suitable only for a protest vote by disgruntled Conservative voters.
The interesting thing about our results in South Yorkshire was that clearly not only were we getting many second preferences from across the spectrum but that many of those who voted Labour as first choice, voted English Democrats as their second preference. As we have so often said:- “English Democrats – Not Left, Not Right, Just English!”
With excellent timing we now have the opportunity to put our new found brand awareness to the test in the coming by-election, triggered by sleaze over Denis MacShane’s false expenses claims.
If we can encourage those who gave us their second preference vote in the Police commissioner elections to give us their vote in these elections, as well as encouraging the 5,034 Rotherham voters that gave us their first preference vote to now give us their only vote, then, as Labour’s vote will be split three ways, who knows what we can achieve!?
If you would like to be part of this potential breakthrough moment, then please either donate (click here>>> http://www.englishdemocrats.org.uk/) or volunteer to help leaflet (email here >>> Yorkshire@EngDem.org).