Why Communists need Marketing lessons

The problem with the Communist party in India in addition to following a defunct ideology is one of governance. They just don't know how. All they know is to follow what's been prescribed by their founding fathers. And that is to toe the party central committee line without questions. The committee looms above all. And when I say committee, I mean people who have never fought elections.

In ousting VS from the politburo the party has sent a message that no one must dare question party wisdom. But in doing so they have also broken the cardinal rule of marketing which says, it isn't about the firm, its about the customer. It isn't about the party, its about the voter.

VS is about the voter. Pinarayi is about the party. A smart marketer will pick the former. The Communist Party chose the latter. Of course, it remains to be seen whether the voter reacts adversely to party decision. My gut tells me he will. And that's bad news for CPI(M).

When it comes to the consumer, toeing what's been practiced for years holds good only if creates value for him. If the past has to be abandoned to reach and connect with the consumer of today, firms needn't bat an eyelid. Forsake the past. Business isn't about nostalgia for the past, its about consumer needs of the present.

Policy wise, Pinrayi seems to be one who's more pliable to moderating communism and embracing the merits of capitalism. But on the ground, the Kerala communist voter's heart beats for comrade VS. Its a Catch-22 for the party. For the moment they have chosen discipline over voter emotions. That may just keep them away from power. Let's wait and watch.


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