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Flag the Flag – Branding vs Identity

Should we flag it?

While the Prime Minister wants to wave a new flag, much of New Zealand wave their arms in despair over the prospect of a new flag for lathe country.

While the reasons for much of the public opinion differs, I wish not (in this article) to express an overt opinion on the matter. Rather, through a marketing lens, I wish to ask, whether the fight for the flag is a matter of branding or identity.

So, what is the difference between branding and identity?

‘Brand’, is defined as: ‘kind, grade, or make, as indicated by a stamp, trademark, or the like’. The word finding its origins in the words for fire, or a piece of burning wood.

‘Identity’, is defined as: ‘the condition of being oneself or itself, and not another’. The word finding its origins in sameness, oneness, over and over.

It seems that branding implies a deliberate action of making a mark. Yet, this mark is a pre-defined symbol. Once branded, this symbol is representative of specific ideas, values, or notions. It can be identified.

Now, this is where the debate begins. In order to be able to be identified, something must first have an identity. Which, in its roots (as above) holds a more passive understanding. In identity, there is a connectedness, a collective set of values.

Through a marketing lens, you must first have and know your identity. Otherwise, what does your ‘brand’ represent? It becomes only superficial.

A flag, is a kind of brand for a country. So, the question posed is whether NZ’s identity is of a ‘sameness’ or ‘oneness’ that justifies a new brand?

How can you leave a permanent mark if your fire is not hot enough to leave an impression? Surely, if the fire (our identity) was hot enough, we would be blazing and demanding our mark (brand) be etched in the shape of a flag?

Is your business identity defined and shaped strongly enough to justify your brand?

Every business has a story. We can help you define and share yours. Please contact us if you wish to discuss your story, identity, or brand.

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Online Marketing Agency Ltd.

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+64 (0)9 413 7999

P.O Box 301 901, Albany, Auckland 0752



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