UKIP is changing – moving from its origins as a single issue party into a political movement which is now bringing a major influence to bear on mainstream politics in the UK.
Does that transformation and our new maturity demand that we look at our image? I think it does.
First a specific issue which can be remedied immediately. UKIP is sometimes accused of being racist. We all know that is a baseless and unwarranted accusation but it is one that we ourselves encourage: in the way we define ourselves the second and third words we use are “…non racist”.
I spent my career as a senior communications specialist and it is a basic tenet of good communications that you define yourself by what you ARE rather then what you ARE NOT. Also, and damagingly, those two words non racist establish racism as a term worthy of consideration in any discussion of what we stand for.
Secondly a more general and strategic imperative: during my career I spent a considerable amount of time establishing new, global corporate identities for a series of major corporations – new identities which changes in circumstance or strategy demanded.
For those reasons I believe that UKIP should be actively considering an image makeover in time for the 2015 election.
We have been massively successful in transforming ourselves into a mainstream political force which is changing the face of UK politics – a seismic change about which the established parties are in deep denial. Yet our visual identity is still rooted in our single issue, marginal past.
To demonstrate and confirm that strategic shift from the margins to the mainstream we should conduct an assessment of our visual image and seriously consider a major revamp in time for the 2015 General Election. Not only would this reflect how far we have come and where we stand strategically but it would also provide additional reassurance for those voters tempted but not yet convinced by the UKIP promise.
If handled properly, we could use a new identity. one which does not deny our roots but which seeks to create a new more all-embracing persona, as a powerful tool of persuasion.
Time for a new suit? For me the answer is “Yes!”