Saturday, November 12, 2011

Anna Hazare – Discovering the secret recipe

Chetna Sharma, Prasoon Kumar, Madhukar Anand | IIM K

Anna Hazare – Discovering the secret recipe

Google saw 122,000,000 search results (0.31 seconds) from people to know who Anna Hazare is 16/8 Anna was arrested and within hours, 180,000 users signed an online petition to free him.

The Anna Hazare jokes on Google saw 3,780,000 result hits, that’s 0.19 per second Over 1.5 million people were glued to news channels, and established TRPs went for a toss.

Anna’s interview, recorded inside Tihar Jail has been visited by more than 100,000 people on YouTube India against Corruption Facebook fans saw 500,000 people joining in; the page has more than 400,000 ‘likes’ on its Facebook page.

So how Anna and his team made the most successful recipe of the year? It seems management students have a lot to learn from this campaign. In my view there were “seven sutras “that made this campaign a success:

Sutra 1: Identify the Latent Need

These was a strong latent need to have a champion who will fight against corruption, Neither the ruling party not the opposition parties were doing anything about the issue. Anna gave people what they wanted for long – someone to raise the issue and raise it at national level. Once the campaign came out in open it was able to connect so quickly with common man because it addressed their need.

Sutra 2: Target segment – Right on the target

“Youth”- Anna repeatedly mentioned that success of his campaign was due to the large number of young people, who connected with the campaign. The point here to be noted is – it is the youth that suffers the maximum from corruption. Anna rightly selected his target segment to mobilise this campaign to such a mass level. The reason that many colleges –IITs and IIMs got connected to the cause made this campaign to another level and helped it to spread via internet.

Sutra 3: Accurate Positioning – Mass Brand

After the need was identified and target segment selected it was the time to position the campaign. Anna did the activation of people to perfection by the universal appeal of the issue cutting across religions, castes, classes, age groups and backgrounds. Anna established “customer intimacy” by constantly communicating with the common man especially through the media; people were missing this intimacy, as the governments/leaders elected by them never communicated with them. Anna also made sure that even when he was sleeping there was somebody from his team available to communicate with people.

Sutra 4: Establishing relationship between customer & brand - Symbolism

Anna became a symbol for anti-corruption. His dressing style, his personality and his methods were all simple. It is this simplicity that connected with the common man. A clean image, life of socialist and no worldly possessions helped Anna to instantly connect with hearts of common man. Not only Anna became a symbol for anti-corruption, he gave a chance of self-expression (a strong need of consumers) by the simple personal slogan – I am Anna Hazare” The message was put on various caps, t-shirts, boards. In consumer behaviour what was done by Anna was - internalization of the cause.
In the 70’s Amitabh Bacchan in his angry young man avatar mirrored frustration in society against archaic system, today Anna’s challenge to legislators represented people’s anger with inefficacy of parliament.

Sutra 5: Brand Consistency - Living/Offering up to expectations

Anna made sure that no politicians were allowed to earn brownie points through this movement Anna’s team was carefully chosen, people with clean backgrounds, people who have done social service, legal, political, security and other experts. In short Anna offered what he promised. Anna himself led the campaign not just by words but by actions.

Sutra 6: Breaking the clutter: Repetition to occupy space in mind of people

The Team Anna excelled at the deft use of communication channels. Never before a social campaign employed such extensive use of technology.
Social media – Blogs, Facebook, twitter, Google statuses were flooded with Anna Hazare’s campaign updates. Social networks and online news media were abuzz with Anna.
Media – “Team Anna” provided new recipes to new channels every time
WOM – Huge mass appeal made successful used of word of mouth channel, soon Anna was discussed in family gathering, schools, colleges, offices and yes the Parliament!
Viral -Cartoon, jokes, Facebook apps, websites, blogs , cheap and easily Anna merchandise, posters, banners, Gandhi caps, photo mugs, - every medium was explored. Even the stage setting was carefully chosen for Anna

Sutra 7: Marketing Team

The success of any marketing venture is people behind the marketing strategy, Anna had the best team to plan as well execute. And interestingly Anna made the common man the Mascot of the campaign and he became the leader.
We can thus see that Anna Hazare made an ideology the biggest brand of the year. People who thought “Gandhigiri” was too idealistic saw “Annagiri” succeeding in its mission. He delivered what he promised and again in the end passed the ball to the court of common man by giving credit as well as responsibility to him. In short, he gave crisp lessons of management for us at the ground level!

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