Markets: Eerie calm

Markets: Eerie calm

it is not clear when market sentiment can change; as in the past, it can be quite sudden.
At a turn and yet not

At a turn and yet not

RBI could be tempted to cut policy rate to support growth at its bi-monthly review.

The Making of brand rahul

Feb 19 2013, 01:35 IST
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SummaryBeing youthful, earnest and promising, Rahul Gandhi at this juncture makes for a more evocative emotional choice than a rational one. There are many narratives that can be built for Brand Rahul to represent. Hence the choice needs to be carefully made so that the chosen narrative appeals more emotionally and to a larger set of voters.

since he wasn’t really a part of the establishment. That is one promise he can hold out to everyone, even those disillusioned with the current government. The criticism for being an ‘outsider’ in politics could again become an advantage in the current state of disillusionment with politicians in general. Not being seen as a seasoned politician also makes him more ‘clean’ than others and not ‘more of the same’.

Absentee values such as ‘experience’, ‘stature’ or ‘toughness’ would be the weak points and would have to be countered.

But there is something much more powerful than these values and that emanates from the way we make our brand choice decisions. The role of emotions. More often than not, our decisions to choose brands are more emotional than rational. This becomes more pronounced in voting as a choice behaviour.

Was Obama a rational choice or an emotional one for the various segments of voters who voted for him? Undoubtedly, an emotional one (especially for women, blacks, Hispanics and a lot of young voters). There are voter segments which vote less cynically and more emotionally such as the youth, women voters, rural voters and the elders. Being youthful, earnest and promising, Gandhi at this juncture will make for a more evocative emotional choice than a rational one and if they are successful in doing it then it will be advantage Rahul.

Like any strong brand, the ability to become an emotional choice depends on what the ‘myth’ of the brand is. Originating from the Greek word ‘mythos’ it represents the ‘narrative’ that the brand represents. It is what people trust. It is what they buy or choose. All iconic brands have a strong ‘myth’ (not to be confused with the English meaning) or ‘narrative’. And successful people brands have their narratives that people love. Whether it was Benazir Bhutto in Pakistan or Obama in USA or Rajiv Gandhi in 1984, when they sought the people’s mandate for the first time they had a clear and emotional narrative. ‘A working middle-class hero’ is a narrative, so is ‘a slain hero’s widow’ and so is ‘mercurial rebel taking on a system’. Once created, these narratives become seeded in the campaigns, get romanticized by the media and eventually influence mass actions.

By the virtue of belonging to India’s first family which has made sacrifices for the nation, of being young, of being someone who ‘not really hankered for power’, of

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