Branding attributes of political parties and leaders in India
What is common between corporate brands and political brands? Can political entities achieve branding on the lines of corporate brands? The current paper develops a conceptual framework of branding in the political market environment of India. The paper outlines the conditions under which political players develop branding attributes such as credibility, personality, associations akin to a corporate brand to achieve branding. It discusses various dimensions of the political market during and beyond elections and also describes how user engagement on social media alters the perception of a political brand. The discussion draws from the social media strategies deployed by the Indian political parties and leaders to win over the voters, the customers of a political market during elections and even gets down to identifying the characteristics of social media posts that seem to impact electoral outcomes. It describes how the political leaders and parties calibrate their social media posts to the response generated by the social media users on social network sites (SNS). The study is aimed at chalking out a conceptual framework of political branding, identifying the key elements of political branding, describing the branding strategies deployed by the political actors, demonstrating the impact of user engagement on political branding and identifying the characteristics of social media posts that contribute to brand perception of political actors. In crux, the study draws from corporate branding theories, political marketing frameworks and behavioral sciences in its attempt to provide a comprehensive definition of political branding and shed light on the political marketing strategies that may have contributed to the branding of political entities.
Preeti Malhotra Surya*, Amaresh Jha