From comments on ACT’s future posted on Rob Good’s Puntiki
Dan King “ACT has never employed marketing effectively. Our liberal brand means nothing to the average Jo Schmo who might vote for us, if he actually knew us. We need to ditch this intellectual ‘liberal rubbish’ and go for grass roots branding. ‘The party for everyone who works, has worked or wants to work’ for instance. Define the people we want to make ours and , wait for it…talk to them! in their own language
If you are selling to a mechanic you don’t rock up in a three piece suit. We have had a three piece suit ‘superior’ approach in much of our language, when the people we really need to talk to will respond to the common touch…” Fancy pants aus marketing experts are not much good if we have not identified our market and the message that fits. The direct mail we delivered at tremendous human cost and loss of life was a complete waste of time for reasons mentioned above, wrong message and wrong target market.”
Wined “If ACT! is ever to attain many real profile here again, the party must speak for NZ, and those people who are currently, and always will be disenfranchised on the Right. The Centre, and the drivel of “liberal” will never work for ACT. This is the ground of the National, and the right winger Labourites, and people like Peters and Dunne who want to hear themselves as a Leader.”
I personally love the “Liberal” word, but I follow politics enough to appreciate its origin and meaning. “Liberal” to most on the centre right is identified with “sickly white liberal” etc.
ACT is a political party trying to win votes. Do we try to sell a political philosophy and a word that is surrounded by confusion to the one or two per cent who are interested in such things?
Or are we better to de-emphasise or even abandon the “Liberal” word and attempt to sell concrete policies, using plain language, appealing to people’s self interest, in areas they care about?
Do you explain the “liberal” philosophy to a South Auckland mechanic, or do you show him how “school choice” will give his kids a far better future than zoning and mediocrity. Is he interested in Bastiat and Milton Friedman, or how much more quickly ACT’s tax cuts will help him clear his mortgage?
I think I’ve made my leanings clear. What do you think?