The spectacle of ‘The Great Indian Election’ is over and had no surprises in store. As predicted by all and sundry, including eminent psephologists, prominent journalists and maverick astrologists, the main opposition party, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), stormed in to power with a decisive majority under Narendra Modi’s leadership. In a week’s time, India will have its new Prime Minister and his cabinet. The incumbent, Indian National Congress (INC), faced humiliation as their number in the Loksabha, the lower house, reduced to double digits – it’s worst ever performance in independent India. While the supporters and sympathizers of BJP are over the moon, their counterparts in INC are shocked and numbed. People expect a miracle from the new government as they ready themselves to be transformed.
What are the lessons to be learnt from the election, arguably the most strenuous and extensive democratic exercise, for the victor and the loser? The winner was successful in putting forth their message in public domain and reaped its benefits. Meanwhile, not only the loser failed to connect with voters but also seemed to have taken the electorate for granted. BJP, the winner, is all set to make a government at the centre with an unprecedented majority while INC, the loser, will have to do a lot of soul searching as to why they did fail to put up a good show. Pundits say that BJP backed themselves to win, riding on anti-incumbency, and gave it all they have got. Congress seemed to have accepted defeat before the match began.
Brands are no different from political parties. The key to success is effective communication of the message that the brand can add value to customers’ lives. Just like the political parties, a brand must be able to address the needs and misgivings of last mile consumer too. Every customer counts as much as every vote in politics. Remember, past glories wouldn’t boost any brand’s sale today. The motto is clear – innovate or perish. A loyal customer isn’t obliged to subscribe to the same brand throughout and will use his/her discretionary powers if it doesn’t match up to the customers’ needs and expectations. A lost customer is a lost opportunity to increase the sale. Also, unlike the political parties, a brand doesn’t enjoy the luxury of fighting it out with the peers once in five years. They are in it all the time. Hence, every moment counts.