PTI – A Brand or A Marketing Case?

In the past three months, there have been most extensive changes in the political structure of Pakistan. Obviously, the most wonderful change, in any case, is the remarkable change of the intensely diminishing prevalence of Imran Khan and his party into a libertarian development. In the first week of April, Imran Khan’s popularity was subsiding due to raising inflation, unemployment and devaluation of rupee. The dissatisfaction of the lower-middle class was the key factor that encouraged its opponents get together on one stage so that they could throw PTI out when public sentiments were against his governance. The opposition was so sure that after joining hands in this ‘no-confidence vote’ and being out of the Prime Minister House, Imran Khan would not be able to generate any disconcertment against the new government.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, who is well-known for his tight deadlines for completing projects was overconfident in the first few weeks that his traditional style of brinkmanship would suppress the conceivable response from PTI. Many political figures and analysts were also expecting Imran Khan to have low level of support after his dramatic removal from the seat as Prime Minister. However, just within a time span of two months, PTI has emerged as the most popular political force in Pakistan which has left many stakeholders quite surprised. From the perspective of an academic and marketing student, the swift brand transformation of PTI offers a lot of interesting learning points. An excellent example of enormous enhancement of “positioning” and “value preposition” in such short time period has been displayed by PTI through this swift transformation which is not even found in any marketing textbook. A real “turnaround” (in marketing vocabulary) has been shown by the PTI brand-or to be more precise, the brand Imran Khan.

All of this started with Imran Khan’s speech in Islamabad on March 27 to the massive gathering when he was trying to prevent the no-confidence motion against him by then opposition. He had lost majority of his support in the parliament as most of his allies deserted him publicly to join PDM. At that time, it was understood that PTI would not be able to muster enough supporters to squash the motion. While addressing n the Parade Ground Islamabad, Imran Khan claimed that it was ‘American Intervention’ behind its ouster and it turned out to be tipping point for the brand PTI and changed the whole complexion of domestic politics. In a profoundly proficient manner, the PTI correspondence group used a routine inward strategic wire as a showcasing device to excite the public feelings toward Imran Khan. It is unquestionably one of the most impressive models in showcasing how to fortify the brand and improve its “positioning” through an effective communication technique.

As they say in the textbooks of marketing, consistency is the key in hammering the brand into the minds of the target audience. Imran Khan, has consistently remained engaged with his target audience on daily basis through social media, jalsas, press conferences and has conducted 22 major gatherings so far to mobilize his supporters and built a momentum for his anti-American narrative “Imported Government Namanzoor” which has been a trending on top on social media for long, as they have highly organized and effective social media team. This team has resorted to all sorts of tactical measures to build brand image of Imran Khan. None of the other political parties have been able to use the modern marketing practices to build the party and its leader’s brand the way the PTI has done. Academically speaking, PTI has implemented the brand building concepts very conscientiously which other political parties must learn from them.

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