I am no Trump supporter. But I don’t think Americans are stupid for electing a man whose speeches mostly consist of incoherent gibberish. Why? Because if you look closely, you’ll notice that America’s 2016 election process was successfully gamed by a man clever enough to use his personal branding. A brand that he has built on being provocative such that every time he criticizes, denounces, berates or bully’s others, his brand only gets stronger.
Given that presidential campaigns are basically marketing campaigns with the candidates being the brands- it’s obvious that Trump is doing something right from a personal branding perspective. In this post, I share four tips that worked for Trump and how you can use them to fool proof your personal brand too.
Top Personal Branding Tips from Trump
- Anchor Statement
“I will make America great again.”
These four words have become Donald’s signature call to arms, probably the main reason why U.S voters checked the box next to his making him POTUS. But what about you? As a brand, you should have your own anchor statement. When someone asks you at a cocktail party, “what do you do?”, can you answer in a few words that pique the listener’s interest? If not, you need to work on your anchor statement. You can use this elevator pitch formula to start off:
“ I do x for people who y so that they can z”
- Take Control of your brand
With over 2.5 million Twitter followers and more than 680,000 likes on Facebook, Trump attracts a huge audience by churning out bitter criticism about everything, from Arianna Huffington’s looks to the rising power of China. Clearly, this man did not stumble into his reputation- he has crafted his brand as the man everyone loves to hate. Whether you are a CEO or a marketer, you need to start assessing your personal brand. Is your brand producing the reputation you desire? If not, it’s time you took control of your own brand.
While Clinton rooted her presidential campaign on the fact that she has in-depth experience in government, Donald Trump went in the opposite direction and based his campaign on his business acumen. Donald presented himself as a presidential candidate that would function more like a CEO of a company than a head of state. This made him appear as a revolutionary who would bring change to the entire political industry and ultimately won him the majority votes. In the same way, you should know what you bring to the table and how it stacks up against your competitors. Remember, at the core of your personal brand should always be your strengths, values, and commitments.
- Brand Story
Never underestimate the power of a good story. In this case, Trump crafted a narrative based on the present challenges facing America and used it to explain why he’s running for president. The story was relevant to the audience and unique compared to most narratives. A strong narrative on why you do what you do can connect you to customers, employees and investors at a deeper level. No one will remember all the details on your resume, but they’ll definitely remember your story.
Real estate tycoon, reality T.V show star and the President of the United States, Donald Trump is not the most likable man. But whether you like him or not, his personal branding techniques serve as a tried-and-true model for anyone seeking to master their own brand.