System1 Politics: Who Is Theresa May’s Biggest Threat?

Theresa May’s first conference speech as British Prime Minister will dominate the newspapers tomorrow. But how strong is her overall position? Back in August we used our System1 Politics techniques to assess the strengths of several leading UK politicians.

System1 Politics – which is nominated for an award at December’s MRS Awards – takes the tools we use to track and predict the commercial success of brands and applies them to politicians and parties. We look at three baseline heuristics that drive decision-making at a fast, System 1 level.

Fame – how rapidly a politician comes to mind

Feeling – how good people feel about them

Fluency – how distinctive and recognisable they are to the public.

The 3 Fs are combined into a single star rating which gives a one-stop ‘meter reading’ of a politician’s current standing.

Here are selected topline figures for the UK.

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What does this tell us? Continue reading

Innovation Month: Innovation In A Change-Phobic World

Sometimes it takes a huge event to make people look at their assumptions in a new light. Taken by surprise by the EU Referendum and Brexit, British marketers have had to think carefully about how well they knew the people they were selling to. And, as a fascinating new study by the Futures Company points out, it’s not just a British thing. All over Europe and beyond there are vast groups of consumers who feel a sense of loss in the face of change, and respond strongly to the familiar.

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Marketers tend to be novelty-seeking types who talk a big game about the inevitability of change. Forcing themselves to consider more conservative or change-averse consumers can be a wrench. But while history may be on the side of change, psychology isn’t. Continue reading

Re-uniting The Kingdom: What’s The Story For Theresa May’s Britain?

This is a post outlining the results of our latest BrainJuicer Politics study into where Britain is headed, post-Brexit. Dig into the detail in the full post – but here’s our executive summary.

  • If the Referendum was to be held again, Leave would still win.
  • The country is emotionally divided – Remain voters are distraught about the decision, Leave voters delighted and very positive about the future.
  • Looking at the narratives people fit the UK into, the country’s Current Story is still Comedy – things will be fine in the end.
  • But Britain’s Optimal Story – the one which would make people happiest if it came true – has changed. It’s now Rags To Riches – drawing strength from Britain’s experience of tough times to inspire future prosperity.
  • Theresa May is seen as the politician most likely to help this happen, well ahead of any rivals.

Continue reading

Brexit – What’s The Story?

Which way is next month’s Referendum on Britain leaving the EU going to go? Opinion polls are split over whether we’re heading for Brexit or not. But you can get useful insight into the dynamics of the race by using other, more emotional methods.

We used our Storyteller tool – designed to help brands find the right story to tell – to look at what the underlying narratives motivating Brexiters and Remainers might be.

The results – set out in this case study – make clear why there’s not yet a clear outcome. It’s because neither side is convincingly telling the story the British people want to hear. And with a month to go, victory will go to the side that tells it best.

1. Finding Britain’s Current Story

Instead of directly asking about Brexit, we wanted to get at the deeper issues lying below the referendum debate. So we asked not about the referendum stories, but about the stories of Britain itself. What is Britain’s story, at this crucial moment in its history?

Brexit ST 1

Every Storyteller project starts by establishing the Current Story – the archetypal narrative that people find most believable right now. We wrote our seven brief narratives, based on the Seven Basic Plots identified by Christopher Booker. We made sure none of them directly mentioned the EU or the Referendum, so people could project their own concerns onto the stories more easily. Then we found out which of them people think might come true. Continue reading