Whether building a business or starting a political campaign, one needs marketing. Without basic knowledge and information about a product, nobody will buy it. Marketing is used to aware and persuade the people. Marketing is used everywhere. Likewise, on March 14, 2017, the Federal Republic of Nepal’s first local election was planned to take place. Citizens were fed up with the country’s political instability, and a new wave of alternative politics drew a lot of attention.
New political groups such as the Bibeksheel Nepali Dal and the Sajha Party were gaining popularity. Both of these parties’ mayor candidates were the center of attention. The entire country was waiting to see how they would perform against the ruling parties in the mayoral election of Kathmandu Metropolitan City. On the election day, a rapper named Balen randomly puts the following status on his Facebook wall:
“I didn’t vote today.
I was not the candidate.
I did my bachelors in Civil Engineering, i am the half way to master of
I know how to build a Nation.
I’ll vote next time and vote myself.
(I don’t believe in anybody)
At the time, this status drew almost no attention, but the promise was maintained. Balen launched his candidacy for mayor of Kathmandu Metropolitan as an independent candidate on December 15, 2022. We can understand how important it is to set a goal with a defined target. He set a goal for himself five years ago to become mayor. Not only did he know what he wanted to do, but he also knew who he wanted to reach, which was young people.
Balen announced his candidacy on the famous social media account routine of Nepal banda (RONB), which broadcasts information and breaking news in a simple way. It is mostly followed by young people all throughout the country. Immediately, he drew everyone’s attention after the news. Nepalese were buzzing about a rapper’s candidacy announcement, from meme pages to national media. He boosted his media presence now that he was the talk of the town.
From online portals to national television, Balen was invited for interviews all over the place. Balen was quite specific about his strategy and vision. His supporters were increasing more and more. The Newars make up the majority of Kathmandu’s voters. The Kathmandu Valley’s initial residents were the Newars.
Despite the fact that Balen Shah was not a newar, he was still a viable candidate. This was due to his extensive knowledge of the Newari culture and community’s history, legacy, and tradition. Most voters believed that because of his structural engineering background, he would endeavor to renovate an impaired archeological building in the city which was devastated in the 2015 earthquake.
His Facebook and Twitter handles were getting a lot of followers and likes. This was because of the consumer engaging content he posted regularly. He was very vocal about the cultural importance of this city. His famous saying” People are keen on opening museums in this city whereas this city in itself is a museum.
Balen always reminded people about the importance of the temples,pati-pauwa, festivals, and traditions. This gave the people a personal touch. Despite belonging to the Madhesi community, he made everyone believe that he belongs there. Balen once said in an interview that just because I was born in a non-Newari family doesn’t mean I am not newa. Newa is those who understand the Newari culture and tradition.
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1. Advocacy From Credible Sources
His popularity earned him a lot of help and support from the country’s leading celebrities. Actress Priyanka Karki, filmmaker Nischal Basnet, and Swapnil Sharma, the vocalist of the shadows band, all publicly urged people to vote for him. Many political analysts and activists backed him, which increased people’s trust in him.
Support from public figures and intellects validated him. Balen gained a lot of trust as a result of this. It’s all about building trust in marketing. We can learn from this that obtaining a well-known figure to openly promote your business enhances people’s trust in it.
2. Brand Empathy
Never did he try to discredit, demoralize, or defame other political parties or candidates. This was a novel concept in politics. To persuade voters that a candidate is superior to others, one must constantly criticize and complain about the ruling candidate or party.
Balen, on the other hand, was primarily concerned with his own image. We may learn from this that in order to build your brand, you don’t have to criticize or defame other well-known businesses in the field.
3. Brand Vulnerability
People were convinced that he was a normal, down-to-earth person. Balen attended the match between the Nepali cricket team and the PNG cricket team at the TU cricket stadium. Despite his fame, he did not sit in a VIP seat to watch the game. Instead, he sat in a regular ticket seat and applauded with the crowd as our team won the game.
And while the entire country was split over whether Nepalese should go to the cinema to see A mero hajur 4 or KGF 2 (both of which were released on the same day), he went to see the Nepali film A mero hajur 4 without loathing on Indian film KGF 2. This may appear to be a marketing trick, yet he stated that he enjoyed the picture. This implies that any brand should remain genuine to the consumers.
4.Keeping Customers Updated
Memes of balen were the new trend. He had gone viral as a meme. People adored him so much that they made lots of memes regularly about him, plus a bunch of memes ridiculing his opponents. A positive image of Balen was really beneficial to him. His social media handle was very active.
Balen used to post about his everyday activities, his opinions, and his wishes for certain festivals, among other things. During the election campaign, he posted practically every day. Balen was always on people’s minds on a daily basis whoever followed him on social media. It was difficult to ignore him.
For him, this develops a sense of familiarity and trust in others. Brands should realize that maintaining an active social media presence is critical for establishing consumer trust and familiarity.
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The process of repeating a term, phrase, or symbol until it becomes imprinted in the public’s mind is known as branding. Balen’s branding was equally distinct and memorable. He always wore a pair of black glasses and a blazer with a t-shirt inside. His face was covered with a beard, which is an excellent way to gain people’s trust because bearded people are seen as mature and trustworthy in our society.
His attire and appearance were always the same. A picture of a bearded man with black glasses and a blue blazer would come to mind when one thought of Balen. “Aile samma daal le garey, aaba badalne le garau” was his political slogan which is probably one of the catchiest slogans for an independent candidate.
He had a one-of-a-kind proposal. We may learn that in order for a brand to make an effect in the marketplace, it must be unique.
Therefore, Balen won the Kathmandu Metropolitan City’s mayoral election by a huge majority. These are some of the marketing strategies we were able to decode from his election campaign. His campaign worked like a charm. We wish him the best of luck throughout his five-year term as mayor of our country’s capital.