Yes. We have our two-bits to add to the story India’s discussing now: the Aam Aadmi Party’s stunning performance in Delhi polls.
Elections in India have never been short of cacophony or colour. Throw in whispers of horse-trading, free alcohol, and celebrity appeal, and you have all that it takes to create the perfect entertainer. Which perhaps explains why matters electoral get so many Indians – from top executives to taxi drivers – talking and how.
In this carnival, the main messages often turn confusing. Or get missed. But with the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), it’s been a different script.
One party. One message.
The party got its communication right from the beginning with one central message: fight corruption. The simple theme resonated with the people. All other ideas converged into it, ensuring a single, consistent identity for the organisation.
What can a fledgling political party do? Not too much but not nothing either. The AAP’s communication did not reek of exaggerations and overpromises; a rarity in a country where politicians promptly promise to turn every Indian city into ‘Singapore’.
AAP didn’t dismiss its flaws or gloss over them in a pompous, casual tone. It faced the flak and accepted the limitations during media interactions – a fundamental lesson in crisis management and building goodwill. This enhanced the credibility factor.
The AAP boasts of an impressive volunteer network, which spearheaded the door-to-door campaigns. This is what brands and marketers would give an arm and a leg for – a team of goodwill ambassadors who strive to make the product a household name simply because they believe in it.
The symbol of a broom – so common, so apt; caps with the party label; the next-door-folks persona of its key people; many other factors went into the making of AAP’s identity and communication. Unlike seasoned politicians who have appropriated white khadi outfits, the AAP members wear coloured, regular clothes like most people do. Full marks for breaking the stereotype.
Will the party continue to keep its identity and messages clear and simple? Or will they get diluted and fragmented as the party spreads its wings, like it often happens with growing organisations? Let’s wait and watch.
For now, there’s no denying the fact: the broom has swept-up a storm.