Mamata's victory: A case study in brand positioning

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Mamata Banerjee
Kolkata, May 27: If Mamata Banerjee was a brand, her core team its marketers, and voters of West Bengal its consumers, the entire package - from positioning to performance - would make for a striking case study in marketing journals.

The Brand 'Mamata', on day - January 1, 1998, broke away from the Congress to launch the Trinamool Congress. This brand, few weeks back, made her way to achieve the position of the Bengal's Chief minister.

It's a heady marketing mix that saw the party using many of the traditional 'P's of marketing-product, people, placement. The product lent itself to another P that might have eventually tilted the scale in Mamata's favour: Packaging.

"Much like a seasoned marketer, Mamata packaged herself and her state successfully," says brand expert Harish Bijoor. Brand Mamata had many avatars and she positioned herself according to the demands of the electoral market.

A few years ago, she resembled a bit player battling to stay relevant. "Like a struggling FMCG brand, Mamata first used the plank of rebellion during the Singur and Nandigram crises to garner eyeballs. Closer to elections, she successfully repackaged herself as an underdog and a saviour of a regressive Bengal," the CEO of Harish Bijoor Consults Inc.

Packaging, however, work only up to a point. After that, consumers need to see a value proposition in the brand if they are to believe in it. Celebrity quizmaster Derek O' Brien says, "If Mamata Banerjee is considered as a brand, the core value would be her struggle to meet people's aspirations."

O'Brien says that one major reason for Mamata' success has been her unwavering focus of her value proposition over the years. "Be it Chota Angaria or Nanoor, Nandigram or Singur, the core value of the brand-struggle for existence-has remained intact. Over time she managed to convince more and more people and that eventually led to her victory at the elections," he says.

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