To the Minister of Business and Enterprise The Hon Soomilduth Bholah

Avec le soutien de

Branding and positioning. Once upon a time, the names of family businesses were proudly handed down from generation to generation, indicating reliability, like Duval & Son – and Grandson. Now they seem to feel a need to re-invent their images with amazing regularity. Zeus finds it all very puzzling. A good old name suddenly becomes a meaningless collection of letters and look what happens. British American Insurance became BAI. Soon after, it became insolvent and continued so for several years as the auditor chaps seemed to have turned a blind eye. Maybe they were followers of Mammon – not one of our lot by the way. At least in Greek mythology, even blind seers and prophets had clairvoyant powers so it’s all difficult to understand.

Branding itself is the fault of the Egyptians, who used a hot iron on their cattle. The Romans also marked runaway slaves although the claim that the Greeks branded slaves should be taken with a pinch of salt. After all, most of our slaves were people who’d merely made the mistake of losing in battle. They were treated with a certain respect for having at least fought rather than migrating.

As for positioning, Zeus is of the view that Aphrodite and Eros could give people today a few lessons in the various positions that are humanly possible. I tried to explain to him that that wasn’t exactly what the modern term refers to. He thought I was talking about prostitution so it seemed useless to explain further.

While hotels may have to constantly reposition themselves to seem ever more sexy, it’s political parties that could most do with revamping. New Labour has unfortunately been tried before – and has now been discarded by the Jeremiahs. Anyway, as Dionysos says, it’s no use putting tainted old wine in new bottles. The MMM could do with something new although the logical name, Khmer Mauve, in honour of Paul Pote, might produce too many skeletons – and even persuade a few people to join the ML. As for the MSM, you can easily understand why the Sage prefers to get the Hades out of here.

The Trade Unions are so mired in the past, they’re beyond rebranding. Still, with a wonderful name like the Wooden Employees Union, why change? Sums it all up doesn’t it? Your agricultural colleague, however, needs to do some rethinking. If dead cattle and chickens – and wilting sugarcane – weren’t enough, fish seem in increasing trouble too. Mind you, what can they expect if they try to exist in Tobacco River? There’s not much agriculture left. Ministry of Agro-repositioning is what your job really needs to be about. By the way, ki pozision? Is your ministry doing anything useful at the moment? We’ve certainly not heard very much of late, except for another failing co-operative – but I suppose the Assembly holidays might explain that. And post-Budget committees.

What really matters is whether an organisation is doing or producing something useful, sustainable you might say. Revamping, repositioning, rebranding. They may be great for agency finances but Zeus thinks it’s mostly a load of verbiage. He was more positive, however, when I suggested we should try a bit of rebranding ourselves. Ancient Greek Gods hardly resonates in today’s world. Not that other religions are any better – their ancient texts could do with some revisiting. I suggested Triumphant Olympians – Free spirits available 24/7. Dionysos loved it but Zeus was not amused.

Yours sincerely Epi PHRON

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