How Donald Trump Created A Successful Brand To Reach The White House

Posted by Shruthi Prakash Adiodi in GlobeScope
December 10, 2016

Donald Trump is the living embodiment of the power of brand awareness. He goes a long way to show how a brand can be created and propagated in the minds of billions, despite being a sexist, racist, misogynist and outrightly ambitious in building a Nation for a ‘superior’ race. The election and the days leading up to November 8, 2016 depict the importance of a brand image and how it can affect the society with or without its consciousness.

Having subjected themselves to a businessman with  motto of ‘making America great again’, the aftermath of the brand creation and building is now being thoroughly analysed, only to realise that his brand is one which grew out of repetition, reinforcement, negative publicity and most importantly a promise that fed the ego of white Americans who felt rather sidelined by the recent boom of immigration. He fed the baser instincts of the diminishing white race, which sought for the supremacy and power which was initially vested upon them, but slowly (yet steadily) was drifting away.

His journey through life has lead to this point and there are plenty of reasons as to why Trump won. Leaving behind the promises and claims that he made, what he did ‘right’ was being a conservative who knew his strategy to success. So much so, that the word ‘Trump’ has become a representation of victory in the marketplace. He was a symbol for impudent bravado. His aggressive campaign which aimed to break the monotony of a redundant democracy that had ruled for years, assured him the White House.

He had a strong pre-launch plan, which had ideally segmented his target audience and helped him position himself as a representative of a wing, who screamed in volumes what one’s inner self wanted. He dug deep to realise that what a large section of Americans felt was displacement in their own land, which needed to be addressed. Being the conservative he is, this was no hard task. He merely had to place himself in the shoes of those millions of Americans who were outwardly liberal but afraid and conservative on the inside. Those who were afraid of being ‘replaced’ in their own nation by ‘outsiders’, those who according to them, never belonged.

He branded, molded and re-branded himself through the course of the elections, to suit this pallet. Like a product, we then associated a certain set of traits and values to this product that we consumed. What brand Trump did was feed its target group with values that it never knew it wanted, and never wanted to accept it wanted. It gave values that was an offer they could not refuse, because deep down, a majority wanted nothing but that. He offered unapologetic statements and claims, and this trust in his own words made the crowd fall into his way of thought.

He boosted readership among newspapers and television ratings among news channels across the world, and he played this card to his advantage. He built on baseless controversies, biased judgments and lies to ensure that the media repeated his brand rather than that of a woman who was liberal yet a microcosmic representation of what America has been for the past many years – monotonous.

He was thus a typical New Yorker. He knew how to play it smart, defying all the rules a political leader was meant to represent. Leaders came and went, health policies were debated and rejected, businesses were opened to international grounds, again debated and rejected – repetitiveness became the focus keyword. This calmness is exactly what he broke by being his loud and vociferous self that went beyond the regular and offered a ‘change’. He was a vulgarian, in its true sense even before he gained power. It was a ‘glorious past’ of America he sought to get back even though his new regime would ridicule the functioning of the greatest nation in the world.

Though millions across the world felt nothing but fear at the sight of his face and the sound of his name, to the extent of there being a ‘Trump-phobia‘; he took it upon himself as a challenge to reach the house. Trump has always been a fighter, bouncing back six times from his company’s bankruptcies and from being shunned and ridiculed by President Barack Obama in 2011.

His tag line of ‘Make America Great Again’, was simple, concise and screamed his agenda – one which wished to showcase the supposed decline of America in the recent past owing to the ruling of the Democratic Party, which offered stability for all rather than greatness for a few.

Through these elections we see that a brand is like a child which needs to be nurtured, but more importantly it needs to be one which offers values that can be fed to the concealed yet highly prevalent needs of the masses. A brand thus needs to be built on co-creation as opposed to an autocratic democracy which bases its decisions on redundant methods and which refuses to acknowledge the current needs of the society. A brand thereby requires to scream its stance, since humans are inherently built guilty of their selfish self, but also, highly gullible. Many Americans were politically correct and liberal to the eye of a viewer, but what happens in a ballot is only reflective of what is concealed below layers of flesh and bones that is built based on fear of societal judgements and worse, ridicule.