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Hot off the heels of another debate, a news commentator mentioned this morning that there should not be any “undecided” voters left out there, only “in-denial” voters. Of course, he is referencing the lopsided electoral race going on in our country. Donald J. Trump is in a fight both for his life and the White House against Hillary Rodman Clinton. Along the way, the unorthodox method of his campaign teaches principles everyone can learn about branding.
Experience seems to be on the side of the former first lady and secretary of state, but so does a checkered past riddled with alleged scandals. On the other side of the ticket, the option does not seem to be shining for Trump. After a couple of failed marriages, a lifestyle written like a tabloid section and his recent missteps, Trump is not giving American voters much to choose from either.
So where do you stand? At this point, just days before the election, I am hoping you have made peace with your decision and can live with whatever consequences are associated with it. What has been a phenomenon, that I am sure will be studied for decades to come, is how an unlikely candidate in Trump has ascended to such a high rating. When he began his presidential run last year, many assumed he would not even make it out of the primaries. But here we are just a couple of weeks out from Election Day and he is still in the race. In fact, he holds a marginal lead over Clinton in some key states.
Like many, I am left scratching my head about the tens of thousands who gather weekly at his rallies across the nation. What are they seeing in him that I may have missed? It reminds me of a quote I ran across from Horace Greely that says:
Fame is a vapor, popularity an accident and riches take wings. Only one thing endures and that is character.
This speaks volumes in an era where people seem more obsessed with online flare, popularity, and crowds instead of a steady growth in the department of character. Along with his many visible flaws, Mr. Trump has seemed to tap into a market and niche that is undeniable. Like him or not, he has struck a chord with millions and it may behoove us to take note of his methods. Here are a few principles the Trump campaign teaches about branding:
First, Trump has tapped into an emotional hotbed of concerns. Americans by far feel their liberties are being challenged and diminished by illegal immigration. These undocumented immigrants are viewed as some type of freedom-thief here to erode the fabric of America. Mr. Trump came along and with just a few words swung the emotions of so many his way.
His speeches have a familiar thread week after week; build the wall and create a deportation army to round-up all the illegals and send them back. This claim and message are wild considering most Americans came to this country as an immigrant. Picture the reception many would have received on Ellis Island if protestors met them screaming “Go back to where you came from!” I am afraid we would not have the rich cultural American we enjoy today.
Next, Trump has seemed to capitalize on the media’s propensity to cover him. In other words, he’s figured out how to manipulate things in his favor. Love him or hate him, he has mastered this art. He runs his campaign like an episode of a reality TV show. With his many “tune in next time” tactics, he keeps his name in the news cycle. The networks are always talking about him and he loves it. Some would consider this a fluke or attribute it to randomness, but it is apparent this is strategic. By controlling the narrative he continues to influence.
We all can take note of this as it pertains to our personal brand. It’s time to take control of how you are perceived. Instead of reacting to everything, it may be time to go on the offensive and be proactive about things.
Last, Donald J. Trump is keen on surrounding himself with surrogates who echo his messages religiously. Have you noticed the synchronization between himself, his campaign manager and every person who is on TV bearing the Trump brand? They talk in concert to whatever the message is for that day. Rarely do you catch any dissension among his top advisors; Instead, they stick to the message as if their lives depended on it.
Imagine the power of your brand (whatever that brand may be) if the people you collaborated with were on the same page. A unified message is often the missing link to greatness. When a team is all over the place and cannot seem to connect the dots, leaders are left frustrated and exhausted chasing the vision from behind. Trump knows to get even close to the Oval Office, he needs a collaborative effort.
Whatever the fate of the United States is, we will find out in a few days. Until then we will be left with an over saturation of news coverage and all things Trump. I do not know if he will be America’s 45th president, but I know for a fact that the way elections are strategized and covered by the news will never be the same. Just as in 2008 and 2012 Barak Obama shifted the landscape of electoral success, Donald J. Trump has done the same. Whether for good or bad, he has left an indelible mark on the canvas of politics worldwide. As the country awaits the results of the American vote, take note of the principles Trump and his controversial campaign teaches about branding.
Opinion by Early Jackson
(Edited by Cherese Jackson)
Liberty Voice: In an Era Where Reality TV Reigns There Is No Wonder Americans Love Trump
Inline Image Courtesy of Chris & Karen Highland – Flickr License
Top and Featured Images Courtesy of Gage Skidmore – Flickr License