|May 11, 2016|
Last week, billionaire businessman, and presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump officially became his party’s choice in the American presidential race.
From the moment of his announced entry into the elections last year, Trump’s underdog success has baffled the predictions of political pundits, but marketers and advertisers should have seen this coming from a mile away.
Voters, after all, are just another kind of customer and, whatever else you might think of him, it’s hard to deny that Trump is a marketing and branding force.
Brand Is King
The Donald was carried into this presidential race on little more than the back of the personal brand he’s spent four decades nurturing.
The Trump name, over his storied career, has become synonymous with opulence, success and hard-line common sense. Now, he’s leveraged that brand recognition into a pathway to the presidency of the most powerful country in the world.
Take care of your brand, and your brand will take care of you.
Stay On Message
Never forget what you’re about, and make sure no one else forgets either.
Trump promises to make America great again. He promises it a lot. In every speech, interview, or impromptu exchange Trump makes sure that you know his plan is to make America great again.
In repeatedly delivering a consistent message, he associates it with his brand, and buries the association in the minds of his audience until his brand and his message are inextricably tied together, each informing the other.
If you’re not delivering your message, who is?
And while you’re staying on message, remember to…
Keep It Simple
Trump’s been accused of delivering speeches with the linguistic complexity of a nine year-old. The observation has been made derisively, but in the effort of ensuring message retention, simplicity is paramount.
Speak to your customers the way your customers speak to each other, and you’ll make sure your voice is heard.
Know Your Audience
You need to know who you’re selling to, and you need to know what they want that your competitors are failing to deliver.
Then you need to deliver it.
When Trump first burst onto the scene promising to build a wall, he was playing to his target market’s policy concerns and their weariness with safe and sanitary political discourse. All at once his brazen broaching of a taboo topic earned him the support of people who’d grown used to having their needs ignored.
Knowing your customers shows that you care, and customers that feel like you care about their concerns are customers that will be loyal to your brand.
Be unique. Be you.
Trump is a political outsider with limited-to-no policy experience, but he has turned what should have been a weakness into, arguably, his greatest strength.
In a field of career politicians, he set himself apart as the billionaire ‘man on the street’. Now, he’s not the inexperienced candidate, he’s the anti-establishment candidate – and there’s a market for that.
If you’re unique, you’re memorable.
Don’t Underestimate social media. Engage.
Trump’s a Twitter troll.
To be clear, that is a tactic that is unlikely to work for anyone but Trump. However, when he isn’t bickering with critics and rivals, Donald uses the platform to instantly respond to newsworthy events, to make himself accessible to supporters, and to always, always stay on message.
Social media inserts you into the lives of your customers, and it can be used to position you as an authority in your field as you promptly respond to market-related news, and stay on top of trending topics that have grabbed your customers’ and stakeholders’ interest.
Ignore its power at your peril.
Love him or hate him, you’d be well-served to learn from the Donald.