HomeOpinion & AnalysisIs Morgan Tsvangirai a brand?

Is Morgan Tsvangirai a brand?


IN the last few weeks, the newspapers have been awash with news about Morgan Tsvangirai and infighting in MDC-T. It appears some people want Tsvangirai to step down, others do not because they feel that Tsvangirai is MDC, so without him there is no party.

The other day on Twitter, people were tweeting about this issue and then someone asked: “Is Tsvangirai a Brand?”

People did not really seem to agree and reach a consensus on this matter. This week, I thought we would discuss this issue in brief. I am apolitical so I am coming in solely as an image consultant.

Some months ago, I wrote about personal branding. I highlighted that everyone is a brand, the only difference is the type of brand. Some people are powerful brands and others are weak brands. So to answer the question, “Is Tsvangirai a brand”, the answer is a resounding yes.

The question is whether or not he is a powerful brand and how stepping down as the leader of the MDC-T would affect the party.The brand Tsvangirai as we know it now, has been in the limelight for over 25 years.

Tsvangirai started as a trade union leader and one who represents and fights for the justice of the masses. MDC was formed on the back of this premise. To answer the question about the strength and relevance of the brand, I pose these questions for people to ponder upon: A powerful brand has goodwill: What is the level of goodwill toward the Tsvangirai brand?

Goodwill is the difference between a great brand and a powerful personal brand.

Goodwill as defined by business dictionary is assumed value of the attractive force that generates sales revenue in a business, and adds value to its assets.

Goodwill is an intangible, but saleable asset, almost indestructible except by indiscretion. It is built painstakingly over the years.

Does Tsvangirai add value to the MDC-T? Would his presence or absence in the party affect the “value” of the party in the stakeholders’ eyes? A powerful brand has influence within his or her domain. Does the Tsvangirai brand have influence? How much influence does the Tsvangirai brand wield within it’s domain?

Icon Status: Does the Tsvangirai brand represent a concept larger than himself? If so how clear is the representation? If the answer to all these questions is yes, then we can say the brand Tsvangirai is a powerful one.

It is true that changing key personnel such as the president could have disastrous effects to the social and political base of the movement.

However, other factors can cause the downfall of a party. For instance, when a party sends unclear messages about what they stand for, the brand becomes diluted. Could this be the case with MDC?

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