The cry for freedom is reverberating across the Middle East these days. It began with protests in Tunisia, which was dubbed the Jasmine Revolution by the news media. The protestors quickly adopted this name as the “brand” made an easy short-hand for the media, commentators and the revolutionaries themselves.


The media first started naming revolutions in a similar wave of freedom in 1989 with the fall of the Iron Curtain in Eastern Europe.  Czechoslavakia was the Velvet Revolution — as violence was avoided.  Then came the Orange Revolution in Ukraine – named for the colors of the opposition.

What components make a brand:  in a revolution,  a movement, a product?

1. The name must be memorable – generally short and pithy.

2. The name must relate to the product or movement being branded.  There must be a connection that rings true for those hearing the brand.

3. The visual part of the brand should create an emotional connection – in colors and imagery– connecting the left and right sides of the brain.

4. Employees should be schooled in the “brand promise” — so they can demonstrate the attributes of the brand.

No such name has been applied — or stuck — in the protests in Egypt, Libya, Yemen and elsewhere. But the stirrings for freedom have been felt in China where citizens have tried to use  “jasmine” as code for protest. Indeed, the Chinese government has banned a song about jasmine and intimidated their citizens from even doing a “walk-by” demonstration of support for freedom.

Let us hope the jasmine can still bloom in Asia.