To the disbelief of millions, Donald Trump is actually the President of The United States of America. A scenario many couldn’t envision as a possibility just 6 months ago. While many are hoping it’s all still a bad dream; marketers and brand strategists could have seen this reality foreshadowing months before the election. In spite of all the negative press attached to Trump, he does have a strong brand presence. Simply meaning that he has an easily identifiable brand and doesn’t deviate from it. This factor may have played an integral role in his success. Here are some of the reasons that Donald Trump’s branding led him to success.
1. Own your brand
Whatever you think about the Donald Trump, is swayed between 2 opinions of the same characteristics. A wealthy, grandiose narcissist with an appetite for power. These traits can be seen as good or bad, but whether you like or dislike them is irrelevant to the fact that Trump embraced these qualities and never tried to be something different. As harsh as he may seem, he unapologetically stayed true to who he was. This adds authenticity to his brand, which proved to be a strong characteristic to have against a candidate who the public didn’t deem as trustworthy. While Hilary, said the right things, little could be said about her personality and what she actually stood for. So despite Trump’s seemingly crude comments, it came across more as a harsh reality than the perfect answer, which positions him as someone who you is more authentic.
2. Everyone isn’t going to like you
A lot of brands and businesses try to satisfy everyone. While that is an ambitious feat, it’s very inefficient when trying to attract your ideal customers. Donald Trump knew his target market and wouldn’t be waivered by those who didn’t like him. In debates, he didn’t attempt to give answers that would be “politically correct” to appease his naysayers, instead he stayed true to his beliefs which made his fans drool over him even more. Had Trump attempted to satisfy his antagonists, he would have lost his fans trust.
3. Leverage your strengths
I’m not a financial advisor or anything, but I’m guessing that a billionaire would know a thing or two about managing money. So what does Trump do? Highlight his ability to make an obscene amount of money at a time when the economy needs it most. I mean he makes a logical argument, and doesn’t try to fix all problems, but does emphasize how his skills can positively impact the economy and the country. He doesn’t pretend to be the best legislative mind around because he knows he isn’t, but he can make money, and promises to do this for America.
4. Really Understand your audience
Did Donald Trump actually understand how Americans were really feeling, and provide the solutions they were looking for? It seems so. It seems to be a case where he actually understood his audience, even if some members of the public chose not to disclose their true opinions. Thinking about it on an individual level, it’s fair to say that you may not always agree with public opinion. Due to fear of becoming an outcast, many persons choose to keep their opinions to themselves. Similarly, endorsing Donald Trump pre-election (and even post-election) is social suicide. So rather than shouting your political allegiances to the world, they would rather do it in the privacy of the voter’s booth. If this is true, then Donald Trump may have actually understood what the Americans wanted, even if they were afraid to say it.
5. Organic reach
While there was a large public movement that was anti-Trump, the votes stated otherwise. Meaning the audience, represented by the media, was not necessarily representative of citizen’s actual opinions. So why did the results go adversely from the polls? His amazing organic reach. His challenger spent a whopping $1.2 billion dollars on her campaign and was very prevalent with digital and TV ads. These are great tactics, but meanwhile at the Republicans, Donald Trump was delivering a whopping 5 speeches per day. Nothing beats developing an organic fan base. Being seen and speaking to them directly, increased his fan base as voters felt they could trust him more since they got the opportunity to see him and meet him in person. In the absence of having a forum to speak directly to a target audience, businesses can use vlogs and other audiovisual mediums to build trust from their target audience.
The truth is that you don’t have to be like Donald Trump to have a successful brand, but understanding the key principles of how he built his brand will surely lead to developing a successful brand. His branding strategy and campaign led him to sitting in America’s highest office, so it’s worthy of acknowledgement and application to your own business.