Narendra Modi: The 56-inch Superhuman
A chaiwala, a chowkidar, a man who crafted the Gujarat model, a superhuman, Narendra Damodardas Modi, the brand of India. Ten years ago, the then Chief Minister of Gujarat, was an authoritarian, surrounded by controversies for being communal in the eyes of the media and the people. How did the man, who was once called megalomaniac, become the biggest brand in the country?
The Brand Modi, popularly known as ‘NaMo’, is not only a product of a well thought and executed election campaign but also an outcome of a religiously planned marketing campaign. Brand Modi, from its early stage, was built on purpose and more importantly a consumer-driven strategy. To create a huge brand, that NaMo is today, the regional brand had to become a national phenomenon. Narendra Modi, who was just another Chief Minister of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), had to be the tallest leader within the party in order to fulfil his destiny of becoming the Prime Minister of the country.
Rebranding: From Chaiwala to the Face of Bharatiya Janata Party
The purpose was simple but not unknown, to amplify Brand Modi into every Indian living room. The one thing that is key to decode the selling of the brand is the beginning. To sell NaMo and to craft the marketing campaign, transformation and rebranding played a major role. Just like any other brand, Brand Modi used storytelling as the first step towards selling. The story of a patriot Chaiwala. The man who wears a Kurta and a jacket, now popularly known as the ‘Modi Jacket’, a man who is the leader of change. The 56-inch Superhuman.
But, when India couldn’t trust its leaders and the flood of corruption had destroyed every foundation of the country, why Narendra Modi?
Narendra Modi rose from the lands of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and joined the BJP in the early 1990s. He is said to follow the visions of Sardar Vallabhai Patel, a united India which walks on the path of democracy and free speech. There is no doubt that Narendra Modi is a visionary. He received the Philip Kotler Award for Visionary Leadership in January this year. His mass leadership is the result for everything he stands for.
He is the most perfect example that age doesn’t defy change. Narendra Modi runs on development. He motivates change and growth. A movement of growth that he started with Gujarat has spread its wings in the heart of the country. His ideas and steps towards Startups and digital India has changed the perspective of the nation and enabled the country to move towards development.
Promises and Upliftment
In just four years as the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi was already on the right path. His schemes reflected everything that his manifesto had promised. Most of the surveys before the 2019 elections indicated that he was not just the most popular Prime Minister candidate but the most popular leader in India. People were satisfied with the initiatives taken by him and the progress that he had made over this term.
Fulfilling promises, furthering people’s aspirations.
In Ranchi, launched Pradhan Mantri Kisan Maan-Dhan Yojana and the scheme providing pension cover to small traders.
These schemes will serve as strong pillars of support for those who did not have pension coverage till now. pic.twitter.com/1WQCFWxMNp
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) September 12, 2019
Narendra Modi foresees inclusive growth which led to his popularity among the masses. His schemes have proven just the same. Schemes like Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana, Swachh Bharat, Beti Padhao-Beti Bachao Yojana and Make in India have proven to be an example of his ability to acknowledge the problems and retaliate in a powerful and logical manner.
One Campaign that has highlighted change, progress and his promises is Digital India. Digital India was launched by the Indian government as soon as the National Democratic Alliance celebrated its first year. With the tagline ‘Power to Empower’, Modi led India into the future.
For people, he is a mascot who appeared in the hour of need and transformed India back to its glories.
The Brand is made
A good branding plan and right execution made Modi a phenomenon but not taking away from the Modi, the product, his years of expertise, experience and intellect which helped him succeed. His image was designed as a saintly figure who followed a disciplinary life, a man who was not motivated by power or money but complete patriotism and a passion for development. A man whose vision embraced all demographics. The man who could set an example, not only in terms of administration and politics but was more personal and could improve lifestyles. He is a man who walks mountains and performs yoga. A man who wakes up early in the morning works tirelessly and lives a healthy life. The image that was sold, was the image reflected and perceived. Brand Modi was weaved to personify selflessness with his image as a ‘Brahmachari’. It was an innovation of an agent who could destroy the wheel of corruption.
His marketing campaign touched people of all sectors and everyone, from masses to classes, sung the chants of the man who they saw as their messiah. He is a Chaiwala, an economist, an administrative and an elite. A man who fits all shoes.
What strikes as an unrealistic yet well-accepted strategy is his stand on religion. Bharatiya Janata Party has always been accused of its religious partialities or how others might put it as a communal party. Narendra Modi, who subtly wore his saffron colour with pride, not once commented on whether he was a hardline Hindutva-motivated politician. The message was simple, his religion was personal and his political life was national. And the message was well received.
The King of Social Media
The product, well mended and hammered, was accepted rather welcomed with open arms. With the right kind of buzz about the brand, the product was ready to explode and that’s how the marketing industry saw Modi, a product ready to explode. Narendra Modi was established on every platform. Social media went gaga over this new celebrity. The Target Audience was the youth and the platform Social media.
There is no denying that Social Media is the new political battlefield. From #AbKiBaarModiSarkaar to #PhirEkBaarModiSarkaar to #MainBhiChowkidaar, there is no doubt that he has mastered the art of Social Media and his kingdom is not easy to destroy. He understands demographics and has crafted each move with regards to the same. In India, 60 percent of the population uses social media as the primary source of daily news. To create the right kind of buzz, social media needed serious transformation. With Digital India as his new campaign, Narendra Modi targeted the youth resulting in his wide popularity.
From 2007 to 2009, Narendra Modi had established himself on Youtube, Facebook and Twitter. By December of 2013, he had around 3 million followers on Twitter with approximately 75.6 million likes. He became the undisputed leader of Bharatiya Janata Party and their only public face. Today, he has 44 million followers on Facebook, 49.4 million followers on Twitter and 26.9 million followers on Instagram. He is the third most followed politician on Twitter after American President Donald Trump and ex-President Barack Obama.
Modi has followed a 360-degree marketing approach in terms of media. His campaign varies from Radio, Television, Print and Social Media. His app, Narendra Modi, has 10+ million downloads. Narendra Modi being the Alexander of Marketing has covered and flagged all lands of media with his victory with an App, a biopic, NaMo TV and an interview with Akshay Kumar. Some say he lives in the Aura of Mrs Indira Gandhi post-1971 but according to the latest surveys, he is way past to be compared to somebody else’s aura, It is a Narendra Modi era. He has entered every household through mobile phones and laptops.
Amends, Shocks and Surprises
On just another 8th day of November, in 2016, The Prime Minister shook the world when he announced ‘Demonetisation’. This decision which was heavily criticised by the opposition was said to be another step in the war against black money and corruption. He single-handedly changed the entire tax system in India with Goods and Services Taxes. It is not unknown that Narendra Modi has backed some serious amends, shocks and surprises in his pocket, with the removal of article 370 being the latest. His character, administration, politics and marketing was examined during the rafale scandal.
With opposition firing #ChowkidaarChorHai on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, the brand was questioned and how. What was considered to be the master plan of the opposition during the campaigns of 2019 was shot done by the Modi social media team with #MainBhiChowkidaar. All members of the BJP and their supporters used Chowkidaar has their salutation on Twitter and just like that, a campaign was created.
In his first term, Narendra Modi, swooned the Indian public when he actively removed Triple Talaq. What is said to be a step towards upliftment of the Muslim women was percieved as a step to fuel the sparks between the two communities, Hindu and Mulsim. However, the Muslim women embraced the decission and the Prime Minister with open arms. In 2019, Balakot air strikes, gave the opposition another chance to raise their arms but the aura of NaMo and the idea of nationalism in India did not allow the then ‘United Opposition’ to even raise a finger.
Narendra Modi, The Face of India
#PMonDiscovery was the most trending on Twitter on the 12th day of August this year. Bear Gryll’s “Man Vs Wild” featured the Narendra Modi and made 3.69 million impressions on its premier. His position, as the Prime Minister of the largest democracy and a global leader, entitles him to make global changes. His remarks on Climate change and global warming have drawn the spotlight on him. He has represented India and globalisation on the World Economic Forum at Davos. His active participation and clear agendas in the G7 summit has put him on the map. He is the most celebrated man and brand of India. He is Narendra Modi, the protagonist and the story, the mass and the leader, the product and the brand.