Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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Political marketing and the British Labour Party 1994-2010: Applying the product life-cycle model to a political party

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posted on 2021-11-14, 08:57 authored by de Malmanche, Brett Raymond

This thesis explores the merits of applying a marketing model, the product life-cycle model, to a political party. The product life-cycle model details a product during its introduction, growth, maturity and decline cycles. For this thesis I apply this model to the British Labour Party between 1994 and 2010 under the leadership of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown. The product life-cycle model, adapted to political science from the political marketing literature, shows that a political party does go through an introduction, growth, maturity and decline phase. To avoid moving into the decline phase, a political party must learn how to rejuvenate during the maturity cycle. This thesis concludes that the product life-cycle model does have merits when applied to political parties. In the case of the British Labour Party, it began with a strong market-orientation, but the longer it stayed in power this market-orientation shifted. The New Labour brand and its primary brand agent, Tony Blair, were both strong assets to the party. However, during the lifetime of the product these assets became liabilities. The longer that New Labour stayed in power, the more it shifted away from its relationship with the political market. The product life-cycle model should be tested in other political systems to further strengthen its explanatory power.


Copyright Date


Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Rights License

Author Retains Copyright

Degree Discipline

Political Science

Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Master of Arts

ANZSRC Type Of Activity code

940299 Government and Politics not elsewhere classified

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

School of History, Philosophy, Political Science and International Relations


Johansson, Jon