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brands should learn from Vladimir Zelenski's success in elections

Reading time: 5 min

It's easy to mistake fiction for reality

People have mistaken 3 different characters: Zelenski the candidate, Zelenski the businessman and Zelenski's role in his movie — Mr. Goloborodko. As a spectator, it's complicated to remember three narrative lines and to distinguish them, especially when they all have the same face (in the direct sense) and when you constantly see them all alternating one after another at a fast pace.

If you want to build a really strong brand — make sure to communicate your story in all possible ways: through "classical" brand communication; through the company leader image (who is usually the company's "face"); through employees (they must be the first to live up to the brand's values and are brand's main ambassadors); by making consumers happy (and make sure they're always happy, until they become brand advocates and promoters) etc. This way you'll be a lot more credible and visible compared to the single, monotonous story that most wannabe brands tell.

In brief — tell it in every possible way until your story becomes a "truth".

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Every success is based, above all, on a strategy (and a lot of patience)

This is just a guess, but I'm pretty sure that the plot of the "Servant of the People" TV series was the result of good research, and it was a way to feel out people's opinion about different types of politician figures. In the TV series, people received the exact (perhaps utopian) thing they dream of in everyday life — a man like them, 'from the people', as a leader; a simple, but vertiginous man in the most honourable post. People asked for it, and the producers gave it to them. And, most importantly, they planned and executed it three years before the "big event". Very well done!

The best investments are long-term investments. Plans and activities that bring enormous sales today are unnecessary (and sometimes even harmful) compared to consistent reputation building. That's why it's important to have a strategy that clearly establishes your destination and how to get to it.


Consistency is everything

So far, most of Zelenski's predecessors used to honour their promises only until the inauguration. What are the odds that people will think things will be different this time?

What Zelenski did in a different way is that he sent an unambiguous (see his inauguration and discourse) and consistent message as a continuation of the pre-inauguration rhetoric. In this way, Zelenski gave the electorate additional reasons for trusting his integrity and intentions.

Many believe that the relationship between brand and consumer is important only until the moment of purchase. What happens afterwards is that many brands no longer invest in the company-customer relationship and often ignore the continuity of the brand experience. The problem is that this brand experience is actually created and "grounded", in fact, after the purchase.

So if you want to give the consumer a good impression about you — make sure that the entire experience is excellent, from the first contact, to the end of the consumption process. An experience assisted by the brand standing next to the consumer without disturbing, trying to improve the consumer experience as much as possible.


is really EVERYTHING

In a rather poor country, in which the last two or three generations were educated in communism (aka lack of entrepreneurial spirit and dependence on "social" help), people are unlikely to accept the idea of libertarianism But by all "symptoms" this seems to be the most logical and consistent continuation of the 'discourse' . And that's why Zelenski will, most probably, have this initiative accepted and supported by Ukrainians, even if it seemed impossible at first.

I'd rather bring an absolutely superb example here: Barilla.
In short: about 5 years ago there was a big scandal on grounds of discrimination. However, the company has managed not only to "clean" its reputation, but to also increase its sales considerably. This was possible because the company is consistent throughout its 141 years of activity. How? It's quite simple: anything can change in the company — ownership, volumes, product mix, markets — except for the only eternal constant: the traditional Italian home-made taste. Nothing more. So as long as you are true to that one single thing that defines you, to the essence of your brand, anything else is detail that can easily be changed.


Those who see Zelenski as a "clown" forget a major detail: he's a "clown" that understands how strategy works and has a good team of strategists. And this is what truly matters.

By the way, let's not forget about another "clown", McDonald's, who in an era of healthy food & vegan trends still make quite some profits from their "unhealthy" burgers in spite of all critiques and attacks.

Article by Andrei TARNOVSKI
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