If you ask any kid or youth in Mumbai thesedays : what is the name of the Vice President of India, one would not be able to answer (even Senior Managers in Corporates), but if you ask him to name a "Top of the Mind" Politician - The answer which immediately comes is "Raj Thackeray".
To an extent that Police, Government and Judiciary has failed miserably to act or react : (refer The Economic Times, 26th Sep, 08) - "Taking serious note of “hooliganism” of the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) over the issue of Marathi signboards, the Bombay High Court on Thursday asked the state government why it can’t touch some people. “If you don’t have the political will, then give that message to the people that we cannot do anything,” thundered Justice JN Patel, while slamming the state government for its lax handling of Raj Thackeray-led MNS’ agitation on Marathi signboards. Are some people ‘untouchable’ for you?” Justice Patel asked, as the government could not file a proper reply regarding the action taken. The court also took note of Raj Thackeray’s tirade against joint commissioner of police KL Prasad. “Your home minister has failed to back the police officer,” the court said. Mr Prasad’s remark, “Mumbai kisike baap ki nahin” (Mumbai is not anyone’s personal property) had been ridiculed by Raj Thackeray. He had challenged the top cop to get out of uniform to find out who the city belongs to.
Well, I have been born and brought up amidst the Bengal Politics - The Naxalites, The Communists and the New born - Trinamool Congress of Mamata Banerjee, but havent seen such a fast paced visibility and empowerment of any political leader so far.
Well, the Man is in the news since a past few months, though for a wrong reasons (from a socialistic perspective) be it (1) Anti-North Indian Drama (2) Sign Board Issues (3) Apologies from Amitabh Bachchan and Jaya Bachchan and much more.But like every corporate, there is a strategy behind this too, and one has to agree that to an extent the same is so far successful. Every new product's most important success ingredient is its Visibility and then ofcourse the content and the value add, but it follows the Visibility thing. Here, the product in question or brand in question is Raj Thakrey / MNS. A new product launched amidst a stiff market competition with stalwart and leading products like the Big Thackeray & Sharad Pawars of the world (There is no one name in the Congress who is "the leader" and so in other parties). Now, imagine a situation for a new Dove Soap to succeed amidst the Lux and Pears of the world and we have seen Dove too come up the curve in the last 2 quarters - We all have seen a lot of visibility around the product and the brand via various marketing communication tools.
The background being the same as above (Soaps and New Political Parties) people do shift loyalties - could be for a new taste, change, incumbency, what ever the reasons be and we have various examples. But if one needs to look at some mathematics behind this Product Strategy, here you go :
Assumption 1 : Out of 100% population - 60% Vote (in the highest side possible)You, me, and most ofmus on the net fall a part of the remaining 40%...so we are not the Target Audience at all.
Assumption 2 : Out of the 60% Voting population; here some more break-up. Assume, out of 100 % of the Voting Population (60%), (a) 60% of the Voters would be Mumbai / Maharastra domiciled - majority Marathis..(b) 20% which was around 5%-10% are North Indians - thanks to Kripa Shankar Singh, Sanjay Nirupams and Amar Singh's of the world for the high influx in last few years.(c) 10% would be Dalits (again mix of both types) - tilted towards Babasaheb's & Mayamaam's BSP - Hardliners(d) 10% would be from the Gujju / Marwari / hardore Safrons, RSS, BJD, VHPs.From the above 60% - All parties now take their pie, be it NCP, Cong, SS, BJP...But majority in major pockets is either Sena or CongressNow, Raj Thackeray cannot touch (b) and (c) whatever he does. (d) is also somehwhat non-touchable but are important as they fund the game.So, you see the Man not going against the (d) Category at all.At the cost of (b)/(C) Category which he will never be able to woo, he is clearly wooing his share from Category (a) which is / was with his uncle, Sr Thackeray so far and successfully is / will now drift towards him.The Category (a) are the ones who can effect and help the Man setup a strong base and thats what he is successfully doing.He is stepping into the Shoes of the protector of Marathis - which his Uncle was ages back..Well, the best part is that the Govt. is supporting it - as the Game is making them break the Sena Outfit into parts ultimately helping them too in the long run.And, see the stronghold (on brand side now - at his Target Audience) the Man is creating, numbers are sure to follow.
Right Target ; Right Strategy - Every Organization has and so has this...One could not have taken a better agenda to create an Image at such a fast pace... thats the need in the digitized world... All set and done, Rakhee Savant is today making more money than any leading actress of the last egeneration and fame...do I need to say anything !
Maybe wrong from Our perspective (Many have called it Goondaraj, Racism at heights) and wrong from the perspective of all educated, corporate people, who may be reading this blog - Who are not the target audience for the strategy : He is right ! Well, many people say that this will not fetch any votes, and MNS will die a natural death.......but BJP took 25 years to become visible amidst the Congress Era....and it has to begin somewhere.... Just check the figures in the past six months : No. of articles / media coverges for Raj vs others, No. of SS loyalist shift to MNS; The next strategy from a Marketing Perspective could be"Raj behind Bars" (rather a self submission one then being arrested)- I am sure even he would have this in mind... this will give a further mileage, but has to be for a good cause - its a matter of going in coming out, till he finds another Agenda (best possible could have been of Shingur like)...and am sure the dynamics of seats in the next elections with NCP, Congress will show the rest.....
Well, did anyone hear about "Raj Thackeray" 1 year back ? No ! And Today ??.......Even miniscule seats he might get will help achive whatever is desired... And lets not forget, these 2-4 make the differences... we all have seen in the past...