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What's common between Superbrands in Politics and Business

Though Narendra Modi and V Achuthanandan have nothing in common, they share a particular characteristic that is similar. Both, at some point in time in their political careers, grew bigger than their parties. Narendra Modi is going through this 'high' at the moment; for Achuthananadan, it happened just before the Communist party gudgingly accepted him as the Chief Ministerial candidate. This was after facing flak from the common man over their attempts to hoist Pinarayi Vijayan into the Chief Ministerial chair. Narendra Modi on his part is riding a popularity wave that has the BJP worried.

Although both the politicians in question have benefitted from their respective 'waves', the downside has been the number of 'political enemies' that have sprung up for each of them. Their respective popularities have gotten them their respective enemies. As to whether both of them will ride out the 'rough time' their 'enemies' give them, only time will tell.

In the marketing world too, brands at times become 'bigger' or 'better visible' than their parent companies. Most companies may not mind this happening. And there may also be times where the parent company tries to establish its identity with the consumer. HUL is an example. Not that it made any difference to consumer, as seen in the HUL case. But the larger problem of being a 'superbrand' is that it becomes the one that competitors gun after. Sustaining the superbrand status thus becomes extremely difficult. The more 'in your face' and 'visible' the brand is, the more the 'envy'.

Marketers can at times by choice maintain a low profile, especially for 'follower' brands. In such cases, where brand evaluations by the consumer are done on rational parameters, communicating to the target customer must be through less visible tools such as direct marketing rather than through the use of advertising.

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