Thursday, January 12, 2006

The Problem In Iraq? Bad BRANDING!

Photo Hosted at
Image from Haha Funny Pictures. Go make your own!

Wikipedia describes branding this way:

Marketers seek to develop or align the expectations comprising the brand experience through branding, so that a brand carries the "promise" that a product or service has a certain quality or characteristic which make it special or unique. A brand image may be developed by attributing a "personality" to or associating an "image" with a product or service, whereby the personality or image is "branded" into the consciousness of consumers. A brand is therefore one of the most valuable elements in an advertising theme, as it demonstrates what the brand owner is able to offer in the marketplace. The art of creating and maintaining a brand is called brand management. You're creating the story.

Failed colonial administrator/puppet Mark Etherington told Terry Gross on Fresh Air yesterday that he and the Ukranian troops who were protecting his sorry ass got kicked out of Iraq because of bad branding!!

The key to this business is this: as one goes in, first of all, you have to project your brand. People need to know what it is you stand for and they need to be conscious of your particular identity, your profile. One has to project this early. It's important to set the tone. And the reason it's so important is because one has, typically, a finite period of time in which, really, to win the consent necessary to prosecute these reforms.

Now our difficulty was that Iraq is a large country, and we had insufficient numbers of troops, to lend the public that sense of security that is so essential. And what that meant is that in villages in my province, for example, is that they might see a military patrol once a month or something on that order. And this was really not enough for them to feel confident in the kind of role that we were trying to play. And what this additionally meant was that it placed a lot of pressure on the military forces there, many of whom hadn't really done this before.

Now, of course, althought the Ukranians -- and I'm not singling them out -- The Ukranians, of course, did their best, but I think few would argue they are very experienced in peace-keeping terms. And this is a parculiarly sophisticated art -- this business of capacity-building -- in fact it's more than peace-keeping, it's capacity building as well, it's state building.

My head just exploded.