BRAND EQUITY: 3 Business Lessons From The NRM Party

MTN, Blue Band and Makerere University are all market leaders in their respective industry categories and often use this to benefit their shareholder interests in a way or another.

nrm uganda

Many in Uganda’s politics believe that to secure victory in most areas one has to stand on the NRM party ticket.

For the national resistance movement this has been its turn to eat the cake off brand-equity and this is how it has achieved the same.

  1. Selling Royalty: Party Primaries

Having understood that many aspiring politicians intended to benefit from the mass party’s brand to win the 2016 general elections, the National Resistance Movement CEC sought to collect a sizeable amount of money from the exercise by setting very high nomination fees compared to the national electoral commission fees at that time. It was selling the right to use its name, colour and logo.

Take away: Renting out a name is one way of eating from and expanding your already built brand without straining your budget.

A business that has several branches is often respected and trusted more by customers and feared by competitors yet some of those branches are often simply franchises, running on their own. Most multi-nationals have done this.

  1. Pricing Highly: Nomination Fees For Internal Elections

It’s on record that no political party or even the national electoral commission has in its history raised even half of the amount of money the ruling party got in the just ending internal structure and primary elections at once.

By doing so the party not only managed to raise more than the amount it required to run the exercise but to run party structures as well.

Take Away: Being a market leader is the best opportunity to earn high profits from your company without standing the risk of making substantial exodus of clients or significant reduction in sales. Use this well.


  1. Regulate The Competition: Delayed Electoral Reforms

With the majority in Parliament, NRM had the power to decide when, how and which electoral reforms would be put across and indeed the members did not disappoint the rest of the shareholders.

In delaying the reforms (or what looked like reforms according to some members of the opposition), the party successfully managed to keep their competitors in waiting, unable to plan their campaigns and execute well: they managed to set the pace of the race to work in their advantage.

Take away: When you brand is in-charge, you can determine at what pace the competition goes.

  1. Raising Industry Standards: Nomination Fees For General Elections

As if to defuse the opposition further, the NRM-dominated parliament passed amendments of the national electoral laws successfully raising the nomination fees by as much as 1,000 percent and removed facilitation for presidential candidates.

This particular strategy did not disappoint as some prospective opponents quit the race giving the ruling party an even higher chance of retaining power at most levels.

Take away: As a market leader you have the chance to set the standards to your advantage. You can raise the bar so high for your competitors to reach and enjoy a near monopoly in business.

Stephen Obeli Someday

Twitter: @StephenObeli

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