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What Elections Can Teach Us About Branding

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Whatever your feelings towards Donald Trump as President, his team did an amazing job with his campaign and branding. After all, he went from being someone with absolutely no experience as a politician straight to the top of the political food-chain, which is no mean feat.

So, how exactly did Donald Trump win the presidential elections, shocking an entire nation in the process? Read on to discover how he did it and what you can learn from his approach.

Trump Focused on a Specific Niche

Whether you’re with him or against him, you have to admit that some of the things he said during his campaign didn’t endear Donald Trump to various segments of the population. In fact, at times, he seemed to be doing his best to insult quite a large number of people.

However, if you look at it from his point of view, you would realize he was catering to the niche he had decided to win over. Instead of trying to be everything to everyone and win over the entire American population, he chose to focus on a single niche, namely working-class, white men. It’s a pretty significant demographic, but quite specific.

All his messages, even the insults, were tailored to that audience, ensuring relevance. Relevant, targeted messages that resonated with his “target market” helped him win them over, which was clear if you looked at his numbers on social media.

As a business owner, you need to do the same thing. You can’t be everything to everyone. Instead, focus on a specific niche and craft your messages and marketing to make them relevant to that niche. That means understanding your target market and delivering in such a way that they will think the sun rises and sets on your business. It’s better to have one group of people think you’re amazing than having everyone thinking you’re mediocre.

Trump Wasn’t Afraid of Being Different

He used tons of exclamation marks in his tweets, he made outlandish statements, he was often divisive, and he made everyone think he was against the establishment. In other words, he connected on an emotional level with his audience while not being afraid to stand out.

Hilary Clinton, on the other hand, tried to make herself liked by everyone, resulting in a campaign that pretty much had her disappearing into the background, especially when compared to Trump.

When applying the same principles to a business, it means you should do everything you can to stand out from the competition. Taking it a step further like Trump did requires you to ensure that the brand you created shows and cements those differences.

And, like Trump, don’t be afraid to compare your brand to the competition and show people those differences. After all, Trump never missed an opportunity to compare himself to Hilary.

Also, you need to learn to use emotion in your messages, just like Trump. He didn’t use logic to get people to vote for him. He didn’t publish and 8-year forecast and plan for what he intended to do. No, he used emotion to appeal to his audience, which is exactly what you must do too. At least, if you want them to act.

Remember, emotion gets people to act. So, if you want your audience to take action, then you need to learn which of their emotional buttons you need to push, and then push them.

Trump Kept Things Simple

As previously stated, he didn’t publish a three thousand-word report on what he was going to do when he got into office. In fact, he made very few concrete promises. His promises were all vague, like “Make America Great Again!” That’s a pretty vague statement, yet it’s concise and memorable. It certainly resonated with his audience, which came out to vote for him in droves.

While vague may have worked for Trump, it likely won’t work for your business. However, what you can take away from Trump’s approach is to keep your message concise and simple. The more concise it is, the more memorable and effective it will be.

If you overdo things and get to complicated, you will lose your audience. Keep things simple, though, and people will remember your brand. And people tend to come back to the brand they find most memorable.

Trump Used Every Tool at His Disposal

From social media to TV appearances, Trump used every tool at his disposal to connect with his audience. He didn’t limit himself to one or even a few channels. Instead, he went to where his audience was. Everywhere they were. This ensured that he was able to reach the people he was trying to connect with.

Further, his sometimes off-the-wall, extreme statements gave them the impression that he was being totally transparent, even though he was often being less than truthful.

Instead of focusing on a single channel to connect with your audience, do some research and learn where they hang out. Then, go to where they are and interact with them. Provide a true multi-channel communication experience, which will appeal to your audience.

You also want your brand to be perceived as being transparent, because that’s how you build trust. However, we recommend against Trump’s approach. Instead, really be truthful and transparent, which will build a powerful bond of trust that will lead to your customers becoming loyal advocates for your brand.

There is a lot businesses can learn from elections about branding. After all, every politician is essentially creating a personal brand, which is what people vote for. Beyond that brand, we rarely have much more knowledge of the people we are voting for. So, we vote for the brand.

And considering how much money is put into political campaigns, emulating the approach of teams of people who are paid a lot of money to create a great brand is a pretty good idea. While we’ve given you some ideas in this article, it wouldn’t hurt for you to go back and analyze Trump’s campaign in a little more depth. It will allow you to understand how he managed to turn the tables and win the elections.

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