‘Scottish vote has damaged Brand Britain’

Scottish voters may have voted to stay in the United Kingdom but the strong showing by the independence campaign and the prospect of further powers being devolved to the Scottish Parliament has led to many Britons concerned over the future of “Brand Briton”, according to a report. 

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ICM poll shows more than a fifth of Britons think debate on devolution and Scottish independence vote will have negative impact on Brand Britain.

More than a fifth of Britons (21 per cent) think the British brand has been damaged by the referendum on independence and the subsequent debate on devolving more power to Scotland and the English regions, according to a survey of Britons conducted by ICM for Marketing Week.

The feeling that the allure of Britain as a USP has been tarnished is unsurprisingly more pronounced in England (22 per cent) than it is in Scotland, where 16 per cent agree ‘Brand Britain’ has been damaged.

Last week’s referendum on independence saw 55 per cent of Scots vote to stay part of the United Kingdom. Despite the margin of victory, additional powers over tax and spending will be handed to the Scottish Parliament, while Westminster politicians are now debating devolving greater responsibility to English regions as well as whether to bar Scottish MPs from voting on English matters.

The state of flux is causing some apprehension. More than a fifth (28 per cent) of those polled say this will create uncertainty for consumers, while almost a third (30 per cent) say retailers will be uncertain what the future holds. Again, apprehension levels are not as high in Scotland where just 15 per cent think uncertainty will be created among consumers and 11 per cent for retailers.

It appears the current environment could have the biggest impact on Scottish financial services brands. A fifth (22%) say on-going uncertainty about Scotland’s future will make them less likely to invest or save with a Scottish based bank brand. Just 5 per cent of Scottish respondents agree.

The ICM poll was based on online interviews with 2,001 nationally representative adults between 19th and 21st September. 


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