Like it or not, political parties are brands - just try Googling 'political parties as brands' to see how many people have 'proved' this. Politicians have to stand out in a crowded and noisy marketplace, just like other brands. So why does the undifferentiated - or, to be fair, the less differentiated - middle work for them in a way that doesn't apply to consumer goods? What sets politics apart?
The digital revolution has caused seismic changes for brands - from the way they connect with their audiences, to the channels they can use to reach them. The way people are consuming news has been turned on its head, with more and more people accessing content from global sources, using multiple platforms and sharing huge volumes of self-produced content themselves.
While British Airways scores well on loyalty, 75% of people define EasyJet as a "friend with benefits" according to the Human Brands research study. The same research also revealed consumers are having "secret relationships" with brands like McDonald's (60%) too, suggesting they are increasingly indiscriminate, placing ease and availability above brand loyalty.
Innovation is the lifeblood of any brand and failure to innovate only leads to failing as a business. Google could quite easily take their foot off the gas and simply boss the internet for a decade or two before bowing out to a new upstart, but they will never rest on their laurels - and that's the key. Never sit still. You're never too big to fail.
The world's biggest brands should all pull out of their relationships with FIFA at the same time, complete with the knowledge that every single football fan - and pretty much every other consumer too - will hail them as heroes. Let their competitors take their place, let them spend billions propping up one of the world's most loathed institutions and face the opprobrium of customers whose sense of right and wrong will have been heightened by a mass walk-out.
The numbers are often quoted, but still remain staggering. The United Nations predicts that today's global population of 7 billion is going to rise to roughly 9 billion by 2050. In 2010, 3.6 billion people lived in cities. Fast forward forty years, and this will rise to 6.3 billion, 70% of the world's population.
To be a master marketer, you have to be a master of content. But the 2014 forecast study by the CIM reported that only "44% of B2B marketers have a documented content strategy". The numbers suggest that thinking caps aren't on - marketers are pushing out content to tick boxes but floundering when it comes to producing strategic material that helps to achieve real business objectives.