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  • Writer's pictureAmit Shankar

How to Win the 2019 Battle: Part 1

By no stretch of imagination Dr Manmohan Singh wasa ‘Brand’.

The closest he got to was being a ‘Fake’ or a ‘First Copy’ of the ‘Congress brand.’

Modi’s accession to power was a Brand Story playing out in politics.

He had every move planned and going right for him—positioning, RTB, Product Life Cycle, Market Expansion Plan, and the Retention Strategy.

However, what he could not factor in was Competition.

He is incorruptible, hard working, visionary, long term player and dreams of a powerful nation unlike any other politician. So what is the problem? Why is he facing severe criticism for his economic policies, growth driven agenda and other initiatives?

The answer is simple, Brand war.

It always get dirty and murkier with every passing day. Akin to Brand war, the politics of today is also about perception and its dexterous management. Having said that, I don’t intend on negating the work done on ground, the trajectory of economic policies and undermining the so important growth saga. Of course, just like any brand, every leader has to deliver on multiple fronts.

But delver what?

Palpable results or an edifice like perception?

Every mass leader is a slave of perception.

And to manage the same, he needs optics.

This is PM Modi’s Achilles’ heels.

He is a leader consumed by the growth story, infrastructure expansion, providing electricity and water, poverty eradication, and what not. In a land of a billion plus, it takes really long for development to trickle down to every household. Even if it does, every person will have his or her unique set of grievances.

Therefore it becomes imperative to weave a narrative, a compelling story with facets that the population will accept and embrace. Before you get it wrong, narratives are not prepositions or bubble stories. They are ‘Casing Points’ of a brand, the salient attributes, the USP a brand uses to communicate.

iPhone never talks of speed, technology or its processor.

It focuses on its camera.

Imagine, a phone being bought for its ‘perceived superlative’ camera and not for the primary function it was designed for.

Shot on iPhone. That is the power of narrative.

Compelling narrative empowers a brand with a longer Product Life Cycle, helps command better Premium and ensures greater Brand Satisfaction. Have we not seen people spend a fortune on an IPhone, yet never complain?

Similarly, Modi government also need a new narrative.

‘Ache Din’ was a powerful one. But it has lived its life.

With throbbing political dynamics, re-aligning hues and forms, the chronicle has to be larger than life, unifying, a reason that makes one look beyond the obvious. Remember, IPhone being bought for its camera and not for making calls?

In the Communication Pyramid, the ‘Development Saga’ of the government is a mere RTB; Reason To Believe. If they succumb to the lure of developmental plank, they are bound to fail.

Development is obscure.

For you, electrifying 19,000 villages could be the height of development for me it could translate into getting the lane outside my condo fixed.

The matter of fact is that Modi – Shah duo needs a ‘Compelling Truth.’

When Apple and Samsung were ruling the roost, small entrants came with the price advantage. Loaded with features and performance promise, Oppo, Xiome and a few more have literally driven the leaders out.

Indian politics is a mirror image of the Brand market.

Regional Players with Regional Advantage.

So how can Modi-Shah win this battle?

Coming soon…

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