Political Lessons from the Donald Trump Brand

The commercials about “puppy-monkey-baby” don’t always make sense, but they succeed. We laugh at them, wonder if they represent the product best, and consider the branding techniques.

We know and accept that marketing teams work on the Super Bowl commercials with puppy-monkey-baby. Marketing teams play with our minds and subtly manipulate the way we think. We know this.

If twenty people worked on that commercial—from the content to the breed of dog, from the music to the wallpaper—don’t you suppose just as many people are involved with shaping the image of a presidential hopeful?

Politicians hire consultants and speechwriters—teams of people—who shape their image. Every phrase, every habit, every gesture and every speech shapes how we see politicians, for the good and for the detrimental. How politicians appear to the American people is crucial.

Politicians are selling themselves, and they are creating themselves as a brand, a product. They have teams of people working to create an image. They want to control the way Americans see them.

Certainly, no one in America wants to think that they are voting for a brand, a carefully created image—we are voting for a person, right?

But one person, Donald Trump, markets himself and strategizes his campaign as if he actually is his brand.

It is working.
Blogs and articles across the Internet talk about how Trump’s brand works so well. This list collects five interesting thoughts about why the Trump-brand-campaign works so well:

  1. Be audacious,” is a key to Trump’s brand, says Gregg Schwartz. In a world of political paralysis where nothing seems to get done, a little audacity refreshes the American people. We admire bravery.
  1. Stop waiting to be ready and just get out there and do it already,” Richard Bravo says is a key element in Trump’s brand. Tomorrow is another day, but today is the day to get started.
  1. Haters are a good thing,” says Kristi Eide. Strange how Trump has shown us how beneficial haters can be for marketing. They stir things up. The haters not only stir things up but also bring lots of attention. And they give Trump a platform to explain his ideas.
  1. “The value of differentiation. In a fragmented field, taking a stand that may be polarizing doesn’t limit your potential — it fuels it.” Jeff Goldstein highlights how important differentiation is to Trump’s brand. This certainly goes along with #3, but in a different way, Trump works very hard to differentiate himself from the other candidates. In being different, your brand is memorable and unique. That he is.
  1. “Embrace the Speed of Social Media.” Jason Warnock points out how well Trump uses social media to propel his brand to everyone’s attention. Use the tools. Learn the strengths of media and run with them.

Donald Trump’s presidential campaign shows lessons about branding and marketing. Trump is certainly more uniquely strategic than the other candidates, which shows in the brand he has created.

Trump is a brand. And he is loyal to his brand, even through this presidential race, and he represents it like a zealot.