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An exploration of the internal/external brand orientations of David Cameron’s Conservative Party

Pich, Christopher


Christopher Pich


Dianne Dean

Philip J. Kitchen


The majority of research in political branding has tended to adopt a measurable, singular, quantitative approach (French and Smith 2010; Schneider 2004). Furthermore research in this area deserves more attention (Peng and Hack 2009; Rawson 2007; Schneider 2004; Smith 2009; Van Ham 2001; White and de Chernatony 2002). This thesis fulfils an identified gap in the body of knowledge in that there is no in-depth understanding of a political brand from an internal and external orientation. Ultimately this thesis considers the question how can we understand the complexity of the UK Conservative Party brand from an internal and external perspective under the leadership of David Cameron? To answer this question this study explores the ‘brand identity’ and ‘brand image’ of the UK Conservative Party and considers the transfer potential (Schneider 2004) of Kapferer’s (2008) brand identity prism and Bosch’s et al. (2006) brand image framework.

Thirty in-depth interviews with internal stakeholders of the UK Conservative Party along with eight focus group discussions with external stakeholders aged 18-24 years were conducted prior the 2010 UK General Election. The transcribed in-depth interviews and focus groups discussions were thematically analysed using a two-staged process based on the work of Butler-Kisber (2010).

Just as Norton (1996) suggested that the UK Conservative Party is complex, this research demonstrates that the political brand is equally complex. This research highlights the lack of internal coherency to the UK Conservative Party ‘brand identity’. Furthermore the UK Conservative Party ‘brand image’ is ambiguous and remains associated with previously held perceptions. In addition, this research indicated some disparity between the concepts of brand identity and brand image. Nevertheless this study provided deep insight and highlighted some detoxification of the ‘Tory brand’. Finally, this research uncovered some key problems that still face the UK Conservative Party and that they focus upon the paradox of a ‘broad church’ whilst factional in nature.


Pich, C. (2012). An exploration of the internal/external brand orientations of David Cameron’s Conservative Party. (Thesis). University of Hull. Retrieved from

Thesis Type Thesis
Deposit Date Nov 30, 2012
Publicly Available Date Feb 22, 2023
Keywords Business
Public URL
Additional Information Business School, The University of Hull
Award Date Jul 1, 2012


Thesis (7.8 Mb)

Copyright Statement
© 2012 Pich, Christopher. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright holder.

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