Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948): Ever heard of him? He was the man that freed India from the clutches of the British. The East India Co. had arrived in India around hundred years before America’s independence. By the time America got its independence in 1776, India was completely under the occupation of the British. If the British dealt with their American colonies with a step motherly attitude, they were out and out oppressive and tyrannical in India. They stayed in India and ruled the country under the pretext that, “India didn’t know how to govern itself”. Many freedom fighters tried different methods including armed uprising to set their country free from the British occupation. The British Viceroys and Governor Generals quelled each uprising ruthlessly with iron hands, branding freedom fighters as extremists and sending them behind bars.
Then Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi entered the Indian freedom struggle scene, after spending his youth studying law in London and practicing as a barrister in South Africa. He united the fragmented freedom struggle movement of India under his unique brand of struggle. Non-violence – was his mantra. He advocated fasting and non co-operation in a non-violent way to protest against the Draconian British laws specially designed to keep their vice like grip on the resources of the land.
The British were expert at quelling arms uprising but had no answer for peaceful demonstrations for self determination and freedom. Gradually they had to bow out of India because of Gandhi and his brand of protestation in a non-violent way. In 1947 India attained freedom, thanks to this man clad only in a loin cloth. Gandhi has inspired thousands of leaders around the world including Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela.
If you are a political leader decide what’s going to be your brand?
The corporations and personalities discussed above provide valuable insights and lessons of building sturdy brands. They base their brands on strong values and lofty characters. Top companies and personalities maintain their brands diligently. They realize that after all a competitor can come up with an equally good product. But no competitor can duplicate a brand. So they spend a considerable portion of their revenue on building and monitoring their brands. More than the fear competition, it’s the passion for their work and the resolute belief in their abilities that has taken them to where they are today.