Some people have called Donald Trump a media genius. Others have been less effusive in their praise. However, whichever side you are on, you have to agree he is the greatest promoter since PT Barnum — the ringmaster who put the circus on the map, by cracking the whip and entertaining the masses.
But if one is not in show business, what can the Donald Trump brand teach us, if anything? Here are five brand Donald Trump tactics that can help business owners confront everyday issues and become successful brands
1. Promote Your Brand With Confidence
Fans of the New York Mets baseball team were in the habit of saying, “U gotta believe!” This means you have to believe in your brand and publicize it with conviction if you want to succeed. Equivocation can work in some circles, but never in business. Remember: “You gotta believe!”
2. Be Passionate About Your Message
Nothing is more infectious than passion. Barbara Corcoran of “Shark Tank” believes “you can’t fake it,” and French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre said, “We must act out passion before we can feel it.” The president’s repeated use of adjectives whenever he delivers a speech, his energy when he interacts with people, his thirst to garner support for his positions, are all qualities that can fast-forward our quest to become a successful business brand. If we are passionate about what we are selling, then we too can become a brand that is noticed.
3. Be Yourself
Corcoran’s adage that you cannot fake passion dovetails with this idea of being yourself. It is part of the confidence/passion message Mr. Trump promotes about his brand. “To thine own brand be true” is so Trump that it does not even need clarification. One thing you cannot say about DT is that he keeps his opinions to himself.
Love him or hate him (warts and all), he says what’s on his mind, and you know what you are getting. The takeaway is clear: be yourself, and good things will happen. Just look at Trump. And, oh yes, then “Go Brand Yourself!”
4. Confront the Competition
Donald Trump is at his brand-captivating best when he demonizes detractors who attack him. Once again, most of us are not reality show personalities, but there is something we can incorporate into our business lives. This means promoting our value-added and benefit differences. In marketing, this is referred to as brand differentiation — a tactic we, as a brand, employ to underscore how and why we are different. We do this so present customers will continue to use our brand, or new customers will sample our brand’s purported benefit(s). Time after time, Mr. Trump communicates how his brand is different from his competition. It is his direct style that keeps his brand from getting past a defined customer ceiling. It is his direct style that enables his brand to break through the limitations of a defined customer ceiling. Try to think how best to convert as many clients as you can. This leads to the fifth item.
5. Don’t Attack, But Do Confront Your Competition
As marketers, we must find the right balance to “take on” our competitors with a positive benefit message, rather than a frontal attack. But make no mistake, at one point you will have to confront your competition, especially if you are successful at what you do. Always remember, “the higher you go up the tree, the more your backside shows.” That said, once you are a player within your industry, you will eventually have to deal with competitors’ attacks. But never take an attack personally — it is business, and one should respond in a tough but appropriate manner. Emphasize your benefits and why your brand makes the case for your present and future customers. Nothing works better than playing to self-interest, and if there are more reasons for customers to use your brand, you will win the battle of the brands.
Next week we will provide five additional tactics Mr. Trump has used to challenge leadership, always performing it with marketing in mind.
Marketing & Branding Lens Thought:
"To Thine Own Brand be True!"
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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