Brand Obsessed Society: Branding Yoga Guru Baba Ramdev in India

Brand Obsessed Society: Branding Yoga Guru Baba Ramdev in India

Chinmaya Kulshrestha (Management Development Institute, India) and Avinash Kapoor (Management Development Institute, India)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61350-171-9.ch010
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He is a Yoga Guru, spiritual beacon, Nano-Bio Ayurveda expert, brand ambassador of Indian States, brand ambassador of the UNO mission, political influencer, animation series character, media czar; Baba Ramdev is overall a huge brand! The purpose of this chapter is to explore the value propositions and the sustainable key differentiators to analyze the brand status and brand strategy of spiritual beacon Baba Ramdev. The chapter concludes that there is a strong synergy between image and identity of brand Baba Ramdev resulting in strong personality that offers him a competitive advantage to get across to the consumers.
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Baba Ramdev is a renowned Yoga and Ayurveda guru. He is well versed in Sanskrit Grammar, Ayurveda, and Vedic Philosophy. His practical approach to Yoga has won him millions of followers throughout India. Yoga and Pranayam were once considered as something exotic. Swamiji has given a new birth to Yoga by bringing it to public and benefiting people with it. He has helped Yoga become popular among the common man. He is responsible for a revolution in Yoga and health. His vision of an India claiming back its once coveted leadership position through Yoga has found resonance with millions. In addition, this yoga Guru, Spiritual beacon, Nano-Bio Ayurveda expert is brand ambassador of states, Brand ambassador of the UNO mission political influencer, animation series character, media czar: Baba Ramdev! Overall, a Huge Brand!

India has a tradition of mystical gurus, albeit Swami Ramdev represents a new phenomenon: the television yoga evangelist. Almost all his congregations have been drawn through his shows. The television guru is also available in other continents including Africa, Australia, Europe, and America. The huge power, respect, and awe that Brand Ramdev commands can be judged by the fact that his yoga shows “Swami Ramdev’s yoga” on Aastha television channel are shown across 170 countries and have a viewership of 20 million people. After taking over Aastha channel, Swami Ramdev is now all set to launch two channels exclusively for bhajans and Vedas.

Further, at 5 a.m. beneath the Shivalik hills in northern India, Swami Ramdev sits cross-legged swaddled in saffron robes commanding the rapt attention of 500 devotees of his brand of yoga. The crowd consists of people suffering from chronic conditions for which traditional medicine offers comfort. Each “patient” pays 7,000 to 40,000 Indian rupees, to be among the first to spend a week at the swami’s village of 300 bungalows offering spiritual retreat. In sum, Swami Ramdev’s vouches that pranayama, the ancient Indian art of breath control, can cure an incomprehensible range of diseases. “Asthma, arthritis, sickle-cell anemia, kidney problems, thyroid disease, hepatitis, slipped discs and it will unblock any fallopian tubes,” he tells his audience in the yoga village, who line up to have their blood tested and receive herbal remedies.

Baba’s Brand Strategy

Baba Ramdev also addresses the value Propositions like Product, Leadership, Operational Excellence and Customer Relationship. He has developed a unique blend of Ayurveda and Vedic philosophy to cater to create value for his customers. This brand has mass customized itself to satisfy all and thus have made a distinct place for itself. In an era when the marketers are faced with the challenge of getting their message heard by consumers who are hard to find and even harder to influence, this brand has worked wonders and all because of its all-inclusive image.

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