1) First and foremost never overstretch a brand. This is the core of branding. Modi brand is definitely good. But even that has limitations. Lux cannot be Lifebuoy
2) Making just noise does not help any more. People want to see content. Excess advertising only helps a bad product sink faster. In Bihar without local leadership, the product was bad. Sushil Modi was not seen as clean but corrupt.
3) Always develop leaders and one downs. Shivraj Singh Chauhan, Vasundhara Raje, Raman Singh are proof of this principle. Victory will step in only when there is a team to receive it. Individual performance alone will be always be found wanting. Teams like South Africa and Sri Lankan have been stunning performers despite lacking individual stars.
4) Focus on 'self' rather than competition. A brand should communicate what it stands for and not on what the opposition / competitor is doing wrong. The customer is not a moron. Modi's campaign has been about the incompetence of the 'other'. Delhi and Bihar have replied loud and clear with their verdict. Have you seen Apple ever comparing itself to anything but itself.
5) Stick to one's positioning through thick and thin. Don't change 'what you stand for based on the situation'. Tactical move don't pay. Strategic positioning works better and earns loyalty. If you are against 'communalism' and pro development say it clearly. Keeping things ambiguous will always hurt. We are hearing and seeing it loud and clear.
6) Be willing to yield and have the heart to 'give'. Show respect to 'allies' and colleagues. Don't consider others vulnerable and yourself invincible. Make others also win. The Shiv Sena is a case in point. Having them in the team is more dangerous. Enemy within is more dangerous than the enemy outside. So either show the respect they deserve or stay away. Don't have an attitude "Chaala Lenge".
7) Build discipline and 'culture' in the team. Allowing loose canons to fester is like having bombs in your own backyard. Communication should always be controlled centrally. Take feedback from the ground but prepare the same centrally.
8) Last but not the least. Don't be arrogant about success. Past performance may or may not repeat itself. 'Overconfidence' kills a brand because the world keeps changing and our situation keeps getting irrelevant. Complacency should not eat you. Look at how Nokia and Kodak both super brands lost it when they took a nap. Have an open system to hear feedback.