November 15, 2013

Another Election Season in India. 2013-2014.

A republic is based on equality of citizens rather than domination of majority over minority or vice a versa.  

Modi campaign strategy of direct attack, commonly used in American electioneering, doesn’t suit a developing country with a diverse & fractured society. It may win over many semi-educated urban middle class voters, but it would surely aggravate the fissures in society. Besides it lacks the potential to benefit the rural voters.

Marketing strategists in India often sing the paeans of how an upstart Nirma took on mighty MNC brand Surf and took away a large market from right under its feet. To drive the point succinctly & with more emphasis, the citation is followed by another case that of Kwality -Walls vs the rest of India.  The audience & students feel motivated to know the outcome, though a little bewildered. The victory of home grown brands over the European empires on Indian soil or anywhere else is a rarity. Both the cases depict defeat of the behemoth HUL, which continues to be market leader in fmcg sector in India.

Political marketing borrows concepts, tools and strategies from commercial marketing and apply them to field of politics.  Cornerstone of political strategy is the campaign theme & communication strategy. The incumbent & challengers need to craft the political strategy in a manner that it could attain strategic balance between discrediting the opponents & creating positive image and goodwill for its programs and leadership. It looks easy on paper but its complex to design and implement with success.

Campaign theme must be designed keeping in focus the political agenda and profile of the citizen voters.  In a large diverse country like India, one theme doesn’t fit all, so a political player would do well to segment carefully and then make a suitable promise to convince the citizen voters to come out and vote. A great strategy would also require assessment of position of a player in the total market. A rank outsider can gain by adopting frontal attack strategy aimed at the market leader or the incumbent political party. But close competitors must avoid a direct confrontation because usually the lower positioned guy would lose more naturally. So what can number two do to become the leader? Go the Avis way, work hard & promise less. 

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