With the prurient curiosity of an adolescent reading a suggestive X-rated publication, whether you like Donald Trump or not, you most likely watched the “60 Minutes” interview actually to hear what was said, without even considering pictures.
The “not-so” dirty secret is that although it was a ratings bonanza for CBS, the fact is, few actually cared politically about what was said by Ms. Daniels, unless you have to prove your point and here’s why — branding.
Yes branding, that discipline many “scoff at” but which is continually used by sophisticated marketers to get the “unthinkable” elected to office. And to think that the reason for their electing Mr. Trump, a long-shot political brand, was as simple as this: “satisfying the respective needs of those whose dreams had been neglected, with inspirational words that resonated with them.”
Branding means understanding who your voters are and who they are not. It doesn’t consider “the pivot” — changing the minds of those who didn’t vote for you in the past or softening your message with words that dilute your intended meaning. It’s getting rid of strategies of a bygone era that have no relevance today.
For those who appreciate the new normal in our politics, branding is best expressed this way if you are Brand Trump — “You will be too much for some people. Those aren’t your people.”
The parsimonious effect of this branding construct is that both Trump “lovers” and “haters” can gather to their respective corners to either vilify or dismiss allegations made by the president’s “so-called friend.”
When utilizing the branding model, one can also consider the CBS interview as a group televised “Rorschach Test” where preconceived ideas regarding viewers’ respective brand perceptions are confirmed or dispelled — depending of course, on one’s perspective.
In addition to the branding issues, there is something orthogonal that needs attention. It’s the irony of this interview’s shock and awe by the media, a most unlikely scandalized audience.
Yes, the media — the very group that is more likely to have a phone number for a swinger’s bar than any one of their readers/viewers.
It is almost incomprehensible to see this group being so horrified, prudishly or naïvely thinking that a successful, wealthy and high profiled business professional would not engage in “affairs of the heart.”
It’s as if they were characters in the movie Casablanca whether the Police Chief, Captain Louis Renault (Claude Raines) utters the words to all in the casino — “I’m shocked. I’m shocked there is gambling going on in here."
An important point here is that Americans have changed. At least the ones who voted for Brand Trump. And for some reason, this doesn’t connect with those doing the reporting. This is a mistake that could have long-term consequences for this group’s brand.
Branding, in short, is knowing your customers and satisfying their needs with “things” that matter to them. Not with incidentals that were important when life was simpler.
Except for the Civil War, today we are more divided than ever before. Appealing to our most basic instincts, Sunday evening’s interview did little but reinforce what we thought before about the president.
Other than the ratings, why did anyone even watch such a calamity?
One would guess that it’s branding — and that it is always easier when you have it and marketing in mind.
Today’s Marketing & Branding Lens Thought
“You will be too much for some people. Those aren’t your people.”
By Dr. John Tantillo, The Marketing Doctor
Dr. John Tantillo is a marketing and branding expert, known as The Marketing Doctor. JT utilizes his doctoral skills in applied research psychology to analyze the issues and personalities of the day utilizing his marketing and branding lens. This provides his readers with additional insight needed to understand the “new normal” in politics, news, and culture. Dr. Tantillo is the OpEd writer for Political Vanguard. He is the author of "People Buy Brands, Not Companies,” and the Udemy course "Go Brand Yourself!" You can follow him on Twitter @marketingdoctor and at Facebook.com/dr.johntantillo. To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.
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