Everyone seems to love or hate Donald Trump, but there is one thing nobody can deny: our President knows how to build a brand. Trump is a shameless self-promoter who has been in the public eye regularly since the 1980s and the release of his first book, Trump: The Art of the Deal. Because of most of America’s distaste for politics and love of entertainment, he had a strong advantage in his campaign based on name alone. Brands and public personalities need to take notes on why name recognition and brand messages are an essential investment in their business’s success and ability to generate Trump-like star power.
Recognizable Names vs. Recognizable Titles
Technology has created a more productive and accessible world, but at a cost. We are overwhelmed with the amount of information thrown at us and, since not all of it is true, our brains have to validate it. Having a name that people easily recognize builds familiarity and trust. Trump supports like him because they feel like they know him. He has credibility as a businessman, reality TV star, and public personality.
Unlike political family names like Bush and Clinton, Trump’s name isn’t directly associated with the American government and all of its failures. The average person only sees a label and many presidential candidates attempt to capitalize on this with labels like “Doctor” or “Senator.” Trump’s label as a Businessman was stronger because of the positive associations that come with his successful franchises and brand.
It’s Not What You Say, It’s How You Say It
Not only does Trump have a recognizable name amongst generic labels, but he talks about conservative political values without censoring himself with political correctness. His delivery is what sets him apart. It’s less about what he says he is going to do than how he says he’ll do it. He follows through where the government can’t, like when he fixed Wollman Rink in Central Park when the city couldn’t afford to. He has exploited politicians’ reputations for identifying problems and talking about solutions, but not being able to fix the problems.
Voters knew that America had been declining and they wanted new options. Trump was the capable answer for moderate Republicans that have come from outside of the system (which is a Republican value) and had a successful reputation. In a similar way, Bernie Sanders was the answer from inside the system (which is a Democratic value) that offered real change and was not pinned down by the bias of a party. Both of these candidates had identified a problem and offered a solution based on the values of their constituents, unlike any previous elections in recent memory.
Trump’s success can teach you a lot about building a successful, recognizable brand. First, it’s important to develop name recognition that has credibility, trust, and value in a world where people are constantly being misinformed and misguided. Second, you need to deliver a brand message in a way that addresses a target market’s issues and fixes it with the brand’s services or product.