Maha Dance of Democracy – endgame for politicians?

Picture displayed for referral purpose onlyThere is a lot to learn from the political events unfolding in Maharashtra. The dance of democracy continues a good one month after elections there for state assembly. Legislators are fighting to be the Executive and the battle has already landed at the doorsteps of Judiciary. Media, the fourth pillar, was made to eat a crow yesterday, looks on as the events unfold. Voter, the main dancer, has left the party after doing his/her act. While everyone of the dancers on floor are owing allegiance to the voter, are they really bothered? Is the voter feeling distanced in all this? Is he/she feeling cheated? Will Supreme Court’s judgement on the drama be a last word?

The Maharashtra voter must be complemented for this verdict. It has brought all the negatives of politicians to the fore. Scant respect to their party philosophies, fights within families, timing opportunism, so called Chanakya, allegations for playing partisan to the towering institution called Governor, etc. All for the lust for power. I personally don’t think that the Hon’ble Supreme Court’s decision on the drama be a last word we will hear. Well, it could be if Hon’ble Supreme Court, in its wisdom, rule that reelection is the only way out. Kudos, dear voter of Maharashtra!

This brings to the issue of learnings for marketers and communicators from this entire episode. It seems there are few. First and foremost is to not take your consumer for granted. Ever. In good times or bad. Consumer may respond to different products in different ways like the voter did during Lok Sabha and State elections. Your partner’s priorities may change as per the market. Either the marketer is strong, or the regulator will be strong. In the long run what matters is, the brand philosophy, brand promise, partners, etc. for perception. Always think of long-term impact of the short-term gains. Often, the short-term benefits are in conflict with long-term brand perception.

By consumers here, I mean anyone who trusts with his/her money, time, future, pleasures, etc. and mean consumer of your products and services and other stakeholders such as shareholders, investors, employees, community, partners, etc. The consumers are an unforgiving and ruthless species. Contrary to popular opinion, they do remember everyone who causes harm to them. They will hit back when you least expect it. In all fairness, they do give an opportunity to prove your character. If you succeed in this test, they will support you longer than you think. In the end, the consumer is always right. If you fail the test, then may God help you. Endgame.