Decoding the growth of Brand Modi 

Modi’s mass appeal, his segmenting of the target audience and oratory skills led to the growth of his brand, say experts

e4m by Tasmayee Laha Roy & Ruhail Amin
Updated: Aug 21, 2019 4:27 PM

Brand Modi had already arrived in 2014 and now with his enormous win it has become India's biggest brand and is now synonymous to brand India. 

The 68-year-old leader with his Movado watches, rimless Bvlgari glasses, a clean pocket square and, of course, his signature jacket on kurta is a brand that is tough to ignore.

The Chaiwala, the Chowkidar and the man who promised ‘Achhe Din’ has got everything from his public relation game to his Twitter timeline and tailored kurta on point. Modi 2.0 is now all set to run its new mandate on the motto of ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vishwas’.

As brand expert Dimple Gupta, Director at Strategic Brand Consultants would say, “Modi 2.0 is a brand which has emerged bigger, better and stronger with the 2019 elections.”

Modi’s popularity perhaps surpasses the growth story of his party, say experts. “Over the last 5 years Modi has created a brand identity that now resonates with far more people and is much deeper than that of the BJP. Modi is the tallest mass leader of contemporary times,” said Anup Sharma, an independent political campaign strategist and mentor at The Lentils Institute.

Talking about the growth of Modi as a brand, Sharma said: “In the 2014 elections, Modi was a popular leader from Gujarat, but with the challenge to establish himself as a 'national' leader. Through a well-crafted presidential-style campaign, he redefined Indian politics fighting on the promise of development and change. The entire campaign was centered around Modi Sarkar. Using his oratory skills he targeted the incumbent Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government in 2014 with issues which had strong connection and resonance with urban and young voters.”
“Once in power, Modi like a true marketer segmented his target audience and devised many high-pitched innovative welfare schemes, while also repackaging some old schemes of the previous government, each targeted for one set of audience but bringing overall brand salience,” Sharma added.

Other experts say that when Modi realised his government was being associated as "Suit Boot Ki Sarkaar", he ensured that each of the schemes were branded well and communicated to benefit the poor and middle class than in any previous regimes.

A few of the schemes worked well in Modi’s favour, Sharma said.  “Alleged to be always on a campaign mode, Modi was established as a ‘doer’ and initiatives like cheap cooking gas to the poor (Ujjwala Scheme), sanitation and toilet (Swacch Bharat), health insurance scheme (Ayushman Bharat) anti-corruption measures and the surgical strikes on Pakistan all worked for the brand.” 

The BJP too banked heavily on Modi's mass appeal. His enormous energy and ability to communicate with the masses has helped him stand out during campaigning. At the end of the 7th and last leg of campaigning for the 2019 elections, Modi had addressed more than 140 public meetings in 51 days, reaching out to around 1.5 crore people.
According to Gupta whatever Modi did through 5 years was more visible and remembered than just the election campaign. “Awareness and visibility are two strong pillars of marketing a brand. A good brand is always about high top of mind recall. Brand Modi was never out of sight in 5years.

Strictly talking on marketing and branding terms Gupta says the belief of his party in Modi’s leadership also played a vital role in the growth story of Brand Modi. “When the company 'believes' in their product or brand it sends out a strong message,” said Gupta.

For Deepa Balasubramanian, CEO of The Sedibus, Malaxmi Group's Startup Ecosystem, it is good governance coupled with popularity that has attracted the vote bank. But did the failure of the opposition as a brand lead to the growth of Brand Modi?  “Modi 2.0 should definitely build on the foundation set during these four years and see an upsurge in the quality of policy-making and administration. People are tired of dynasty politics. They want local leaders to make an impact as strong as their leader's,” she said. 

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