Union flag - independence

What will voting Yes to Independence mean for one of the world’s most recognisable brands?

London Olympic Games - Chris HoyIn a year’s time, Scotland will be voting on whether to become an independent country. A wonderfully emotive idea. But, there are so many unanswered questions as what this will actually mean for so many different things.

As someone who has spent my career building brands, I wonder what it will mean for the Great Britain brand and one of the world’s most recognisable brand identities; the union flag.

Both are known throughout the world, and how often to you get a brand with the word ‘great’ in it (shhh Tony the Tiger, not now)?

OK, so we’re not a great as we used to be. But, together, it is a brand that is still punching way above our weight when it comes to our place and influence in the world.

Take last year’s Olympics for example. One of the few events over the last five years that has given the United Kingdom the ‘feel good factor’.

Team GB came third in the overall medals table. Pretty damn impressive, for a country with the 22nd largest population.

But what would have happened if Scotland had been independent in 2012?

Well, Team GB would have finished fourth overall. And Scotland would have finished a very respectable 12th.

Wait a minute! That doesn’t take into account the sports where Scots and English competed together in the same team; cycling, rowing and tennis for example. If England and Scotland weren’t in it together, then neither would arguably have won the medals they did in these sports.

So, if we take these medals out of the equation, Team GB would still just about have scrapped 4th place, but Scotland would have finished 36th.

Would this happen in the worlds of business and politics as well?

Great Britain is still a great brand. Let’s do our best to make it stronger. Not weaker.