The entire country was looking at Bihar elections anxiously and the whole counting process along with the final results were equally dramatic. On 8th November 2015 India at state level saw the rise of a dead & buried political party RJD, a struggling JDU and a near to death Congress together in form of “The Grand Alliance” easily garnering two-third of the majority kicking out its biggest competitor BJP.
Looking into the elections from corporate lenses, I could find a few corporate old golden rules that were not followed properly by BJP that ended up for such a big loss for them. Below are a few major take away for the corporates that I could see here:
Unbiased Efficient Team
You need to have a team which is efficient, capable, has ideas along with the required domain knowledge because in today’s changing landscape experience alone does not count. In order to create such a team you might need to think beyond your favourite chaps, past success and look for people who has the potential, intelligence, field knowledge and can actually deliver.
Otherwise we might again see another less experienced Prashant Kishore stealing the show from Amit Shah.
Know Your Customer, Listen to Voice of Customer (VOC) & Study Market
Every organisation needs to understand what customer really wants, their likes and dislikes before building a product so that you know what to offer to the customers in order to capture market. Further a good ground market study is another important aspect so that you understand the market where you are going to play along with your competition because until you know the rules you can’t follow or break them.
Unfortunately, in Bihar elections BJP could not identify the voters (customers) need that resulted in packaging a wrong product in form of wrong agenda that was reflected in their campaign. At this point of time the voters in Bihar wanted only development and job, while BJP was juggling with religious issues, personal attacks etc. their competition got the pulse right and played on the development card. Bihar has seen at least some development during Nitesh’s tenure so they chose development over any other agenda.
Development will actually happen or not happen that is debatable but at least for that moment competition ruled out BJP completely because they offered what voters wanted. Hence, it is imperative that you know your customers, understand their need and the market as well.
Clear Go-To-Market Strategy
A firm should always have a clearly carved out GTM strategy that will specify the value proposition to the customers and also help to achieve required competitive advantage. The kind of channels and campaigns that will follow is crucial part of any GTM, so it is imperative to have a well thought GTM at place.
During Bihar elections we saw BJP with unclear GTM that as per my understanding is the biggest reason for their loss. They kept swinging from this agenda to that agenda, being influenced by outside comments etc. and in midst of all these they could not bring out the correct value proposition for the voters while its competition kept chanting the development mantra. As a result there were many uneducated, undecided voters who could not understand BJP’s idea and at the end turned towards the Grand Alliance with a hope that they would help them flourish.
This same case could happen with a firm if it fails to a clear GTM because at the end of the day it is your responsibility to make customer understand what your product is, how it will help and convenience the customer to go for it.
In business and politics you are only as good as your last success; brand, size etc. matters only if your product & strategies are good enough to acquire customer/voters. Every landscape is different & dynamic, every customer mind-set is different so an organisation need to be cautious and keep evolving so as to be the market leader.