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Manifest of a Citizen- from Venezuela's Opposition- in the search

By Virginia Aguirrebeitia

The Opposition's political theme in Venezuela has become an emotional argument rather than a factual, genuine, convincing, and above all, "marketable" one. Every area of human performance has a direct and an indirect market. It is about simple analogies such as the relationship between doctors and patients, mechanics and mechanic shops, journalists and news, and politicians and masses. Nevertheless, the success of any of these fields depends almost exclusively on its proper Marketing.

Taking the above examples we have the following: the doctor becomes famous because of his patients' recommendations to others (word of mouth,) the mechanic has clients because his shop is in a highly trafficked/exposed area, the journalist utilizes the media to inform, and the politician presents the reasons for his government's actions. In this manner we see how in any field, success depends on the amount of advertising (and PR), the distribution channel, the appropriate use of the media, and the broad explanation of causes and/or benefits of a product - veracious or not.

I don't understand or even like politics. However, logic makes me unfold my point of view since I believe that what is happening in Venezuela is the result of the Opposition's lack of a Marketing strategy.

Politicians and their respective parties are like "brands." Why do you buy Tide and not Whisk? Why do you drink Miller Light and not Budweiser? Why do you shower with Dove and not with Lever 2000? All of these products are sold in your local supermarket, and all of these products have the same purpose. However, each of these [brand] choices satisfies YOUR particular necessity (or perception) to clean, diet, or to moisturize.

The same happens in politics. During these unstable times there are only two brands in the market: "Chavists" and "Opposition."

From the "Chavist" brand the best-sold product is President Chavez. His slogan is something along the lines of "The President of the People," and his target is the low class- or the majority. The purpose of this product is well defined. Good or bad, Chavez has built a couple of houses in rural areas, has given out food and rum to poor neighborhoods, and has bought expensive apartments in Miami for his followers. Regardless of what he did, how he did it, or where he got it from, Chavez has a promise...and with little effort he sells it...and sells it well.

The "Opposition" brand doesn't offer a product. Many appear in public or on TV criticizing and complaining about the current government. But I ask them AND WHAT DO YOU OFFER? What is your promise? What are you trying to sell me?

The basic strategy to market a product is, first, to actually have a product. Second, to have a promise. Third, to follow through with the promise, and fourth, to advertise the promise. The "Chavist" brand meets all the marketing requirements. The "Opposition" brand meets none.

It is curious that I am even comparing brands and not products. It would be much more accurate to compare Chavez against a key competitor...but he doesn't exist. On the contrary, I have to contrast two groups made out of thousands of people because there are simply NO OPPOSITION LEADERS, THERE ARE NO PRODUCTS.

The "Opposition" only sells pity. There are tons of TV commercials and websites about waving flags, blood, suffering, and citizens under militia attacks. There are so many complaints. There is so much talk and no conclusions or actions that go beyond organizing a protest on the street. Yes, the government stole our elections. Yes, it is tragic, but as long as there is not a 1 to 1 confrontation -product to product- to establish a true comparison, the People are going to buy "Chavez."

In order to win an election with a crushing advantage you need to convince the people that buy "Chavez" to buy [or try] the other product.

The main problem of the "Opposition" is the lack of a selling strategy. People are thirsty for variety. People look for brands that satisfy THEIR necessities. It is simple. It is a marketing principle.

I invite every Venezuelan that specializes in Communications to put together a [one] strategy. Let go of the pity and the excess of emotions because they have proven unconvincing for the ones that buy "Chavez." We have two years to plan the launch of a new product. Let's get started, I'm in!

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