Personality and individual differences. What makes a person a person? What makes this person different from all the other people in the world? What brings certain individuals to perform acts of greatness, acts of evil or just acts of mediocrity? As we stare in awe at some of the greatness in the world we can often forget that no matter what someone does, they are still a human being. Humans are fragile, emotional and more importantly they get things wrong.
Human economimus was a theory in economics. It relates to the theory that each human subconsciously or consciously is able to make a completely rational decision at any given time, to decide what is the best course of action for their subjective selves.
Of course we now know this not to be true, but it is hard to remember this fact when we look at some icons that are portrayed in the media. Some examples are sports players. In example roger Federer amazing tennis ability.
When a single person is SO good at their sport that they can achieve things that are beyond any lay persons belief of possibility it is quite easy to forget that they to suffer from common human fallacies, like forgetting their keys, forgetting their spouses birthdays or getting nervous on camera.
One of the most inspirational characters for me is Mahatma Gandhi. I am not religious and to be honest don’t really care for his religion, or his history (even though I do own his biography) I care because in short… he had balls.
He had lots of beliefs, most of which I agree with. He didn’t believe in violence as this is what he thought had escalated the violence between Muslims and the rest of India. He believed in rights for women within the Muslim community, something that still hasn’t been brought to fruition to this day.
His moto or “brand image” in the consumer lens, “My life is my message” can mean many things depending on your subjective standing. However Ghandi lived a life of doing. He was not a Politian who just had theories and beliefs who would debate and discuss, though he would engage in these activities he believed that by “doing” he sets an example to others. When the government wanted to separate electorals by religion, Gandhi went on a hunger protest for 6 days in protest managing to sway the votes in his favour. Then in 1933 he went on a 21 day fast to support a movement aimed at uniting parts of India. In 1934 there were 3 assassination attempts made on his life.
Research has shown that positive role models have an effect on the strategies and personal performance of individuals. This helps to explain how Ghandi managed to convince even the hard-core Muslim league to engage in non-violent protest. Because he was such an inspiration to them he managed to alter the strategies they normally employed to get their voices heard.
So back to the question in hand…
If I were in control the so called “brand” of Mahatma Gandhi, what would I do and how would I promote it.
Firstly let’s look at some of the strengths and weaknesses of the Ghandi brand.
- Even though many before, during and after Gandhi’s era had tried non-violence as a form of protest none had been successful as Gandhi. Not only was he non-violent but he was passionate and headstrong, a figure suited as an inspirational role model.
- His moto “my life is my message” is hard to fault. He held certain beliefs and wasn’t afraid to back them up.
- People love an under-dog. Below is a picture of Ghandi in Buckingham palace, a small nondescript individual who’s only strength lay in his beliefs. Checkout the footwear!
- His brand is only himself. It is centred on his actions and beliefs. He can only be at one place at any one time fighting for that cause. If I were his brand manager I would make sure he was looking at the problems that concern him most since there is only one of him and he can only be in so many places.
- He is human. As previously described, no matter whom a person is they are subject the downfall of being human and making human mistakes. As a public figure all his mistakes are big news, and with such a passionate person as Ghandi it is important that these are controlled for.
- His brand is based on his religion. Though he has inspired people from other faiths it is hard to promote equality and unity through an individual who is biased to one side.
Let’s now relate this back to roger Federer.
Now roger Federer has his own brand. Though he is only one person by extending his brand onto hats, bags and other sports wear he is extending his influence beyond that which he is normally able to achieve. Maybe hats and bags aren’t Gandhi’s style but certainly before his unfortunate demise there was room for extension, to portray his message further than he himself was able to take it. After looking at the strengths and weaknesses of the Gandhi brand, this would be my first action, to take the catch phrase “my life is my message” and to extend it across different forms of media to make his message more available to the masses.
Finally on an end note, what are the customer reviews of the Gandhi brand? One famous consumer known as albert Einstein wrote: “Gandhi had demonstrated that a powerful human following can be assembled not only through the cunning game of usual political manoeuvres and trickeries but through the cogent example of a morally superior conduct of life. In our time of utter moral decadence he was the only statesman to stand for a higher human relationship in the political sphere.”
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