DES: The winning of the coveted Ashes trophy by the England cricket team got me thinking about the England brand.
TINA: Most people tend to confuse the England brand with the Britain brand.
DES: Technically, England is a nation with a distinctive culture whereas Britain is a purely political construct of several nations including England, Scotland and Wales - each with their own distinct identities.
TINA: In terms of a hierarchy of destination brands, the Britain and England brands need to be differentiated with their own individual big brand idea.
DES: 'Cool Britannia' was an interesting attempt in the late 90's at building a brand for Britain.
TINA: A brand concept which was very London focused and failed to fully include the other nations, with token gestures of 'Cool Cambria' for Wales and 'Cool Caledonia' for Scotland.
DES: But for now let's talk about the England brand.
TINA: First, I think it's important to point out what the England brand is not. Phrases like 'Enjoy England' or 'Experience England' are not big brand ideas, but mere advertising slogans. It's like telling consumers to 'Buy my product'.
DES: I agree. England needs to be positioned as an international brand with a big idea that has a big future.
TINA: The most obvious big brand idea with a global reach, is the phenominal growth of England's mother-tongue: English - the world's most widely spoken language.
DES: As the 'Home of the World's Language', England has a unique differentiator.
TINA: And as blog buddy, Laura Ries, might recommend - A good test for a big brand idea is to ask: Does it have an enemy or competitor?
DES: With so many flavours of the English language around the world, one of them - American English - is threatening to dominate the globe through its mega media brands: Hollywood, CNN and Voice of America, to name just three. (See footnote - David Wu)
TINA: So England needs to re-establish its authority and authenticity as 'the real thing', by embracing all the various English language flavours or brand extensions - from Australia's 'Strine' to Singapore's 'Singlish' to urban 'Rap', not forgetting its home-grown varieties such as Cockney, Geordie and Shakespearean English - powerful tools for generating in-bound tourism. (See footnote - Li Yang).
DES: From comedy, to poetry, to lyrics, to literature, to sport, to legal - the English language is destined to become the primary 'software for the universal mind' and the de facto standard on the Internet - a fully-integrated tourism, inward invesments and exports strategy for England the Brand.
TINA: Brand Britain - we haven't forgotten you - your time is coming, so watch this place!
'Brand' the Marketect says:
"Sometimes a big brand idea is like the air we breathe, invisible - out of sight and out of mind - until its use or availability or quality is threathened".
David Wu is a Taiwanese-American entertainer who teaches the latest American-English slang in China. Not in your average classroom but on one of the most popular Chinese television programmes: a five-minute slot called Go West.
Li Yang is an English language teacher in China with a USP. He calls his style 'Crazy English' which is based on shouting slogans and catchphrases against a background of pulsating rock music. His venues? Stadiums with a minimum capacity of 20,000.