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

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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.

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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

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