What can your brand learn from the Donald Trump brand?

Posted on Apr 30, 2011

The Donald shot to the top of the Republican contenders for the 2012 Presidential election in a few short weeks. Clearly some shrewd marketing was in play.

Lesson One: In a weak competitive field, be aggressive. The competitors (some announced, some coyly un-announced to preserve their Rupert Murdoch paychecks) were struggling to get out of single digits in preference polls. These hapless hopefuls are less exciting than a nursing home breakfast menu, and Trump is, if nothing else, colorful and loud.

Lesson Two: Ready-Fire-Aim! Trump whipped up excitement by embracing the “birther” minority within a minority within a minority (Republicans >> Primary voters >> knuckle-draggers) who seem to have an important role to play in Iowa and South Carolina. He started with he-wasn’t-born-here, then to he didn’t go to the schools he said he went to, to he got unfair advantages from affirmative action, to he’s a Muslim, to he’s not smart enough. The last one is about as bizarre, and effective, as you get; I don’t think these rural white men can imagine what candlepower it takes to edit the Harvard Law Review. Probably Donald doesn’t know either, but the hostility strikes the right xenophobic note: the President is suspiciously non-white, so must be inauthentic. Trump hasn’t invoked visions of space aliens. Yet.

Lesson Three: Visibility first. By embracing the wildest charges, Trump was interviewed by every news outlet. Every one. Every.

Will Lesson Four be about short-term tactics not being a good long-term strategy? Too soon to say, but stay tuned.

Tags: , ,

Leave a comment