Here's a repost from August 2005 on Dr. Samuel Staley, who is the featured speaker at this year's LPIN Annual Convention in a couple of weeks:
Benefits of a Small Business Brand
One of the several very good speakers at the Regional Libertarian Small Business Conference in Dayton, Ohio was Dr. Samuel Staley.
Dr. Staley is a former president of the Buckeye Institute. He currently is Director, Urban and Land Use Policy, for the Reason Foundation.
He talked about his experience with developing a brand for the Buckeye Institute and the immensely positive results it achieved. He then relayed why he thought that "branding" the Libertarian Party as the Small Business Party was a good idea.
One of his major points was that developing a brand was not to the exclusion of all programs and goals that the Buckeye Institute had engaged in the past. Rather, it was to develop a positive identification for the Buckeye Institute that would open doors and allow it to explain itself in 10 seconds or so, about the time one has to make their case with an individual.
If the brand is successful, and opens doors, then the other programs and goals of the organinzation can be brought to the attention of interested parties, as the circumstances dictate.
He described it as "levels". The first level was the positive brand which opened doors and increased the supporter base. The other "levels" were the other goals and programs of the Buckeye Institute. Once a person became a supporter of the "brand" issue of the Buckeye Institute, they often became interested in other areas of activity and programs. Sometimes, these individuals became more supportive of the other program activities, even to the exclusion of the original activity of the Buckeye Institute which had first interested them.
As I see it - "branding" gives focus and opens the door. For all too often, the LP and LPIN has let others brand us - usually in very negative ways. For all too often, we have tried to "brand" ourselves with complicated long treatises and explicitly detailed programs. This has only led to boredom, disinterest and "rolled eyes" by individuals who should support us.
But a positive brand - such as the political party of small business - broadens our support base with usually successful people with good community support and contacts.
And of course, the R's and D's don't represent small business owners - as evidenced by the taxes, regulations, statutes and other oppressive measures foisted by politicians of both parties on small business owners. It's no wonder that small business owners are oft heard to state they'd never start a business again because of the government regulations.
The Libertarian Party - the party of Small Business.