Monday, November 26, 2007

A more prominent logo will not rescue this brand.

I was amused to see this article on the front page of today's Bangkok Post:
Surin: Asean needs an identity

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations must get serious about creating its own brand and building a common identity to ensure a sound future for the grouping, says incoming Asean secretary-general Surin Pitsuwan. . .

"We have not seen much of the Asean fingerprint, the Asean logo. From now on we have to do a lot more," he said. . .

"People don't feel the concrete benefits from Asean . . . "
This report illustrates something that's very wrong with our world today; it points to a disease that infects so many organizations from Wall Street to Jakarta. Simply put, it's the widespread conviction that clever management can compensate for an absence of moral leadership.

Let there be no mistake: Asean's core values -- the basis for its identity and "brand" -- have already been determined. These were set forth by the heads of the organization's member countries when they met in Singapore. On the historic document which they signed in November, the stain of the Myanmar delegate's signature is indelible. With the stroke of a pen, the premier of Myanmar "branded" the organization.

A more prominent logo will not rescue this brand.

Top photo from the
Myanmar Times. "A Vietnamese girl in traditional dress offers flowers to (Myanmar) Foreign Minister U Win Aung as he arrives at the annual retreat of ASEAN . . ." Bottom photo is from Al Jazeera. It depicts Singapore's PM Lee (right) with Myanmar premier Thein Sein. All other photos depicting Thein Sein at the recent Singapore meeting -- which I managed to locate by way of Google -- had been removed.

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