Brandlessons from american presidential campaign
A brand is a differentiated thought that comes in the customer mind, once he thinks about the category. This was main difference between Donald Trump & Hillary Clinton as a political brand.
There are six levers of building a brand of which differentiation & relevance plays the major part
1)Differentiation:-Strong Differentiator brand-Trump
Donald Trump was a cocky, aggressive brand. He was a powerful thought and hence was a different brand than Hillary. He spoke on all issues including Mexicans, Muslims and all topics including friendship with hindus of india. Donald Trump spoke his mind which was the huge differentiation that he bought in. Brands in this era need to be strong differentiators and need to take powerful stances & need to communicate clearly to the target segment.That is what he did
Hillary Clinton: Sober Brand
Hillary was a sober brand to start with. She didn’t have much issues to talk about and her main strategy was attack on competitor trump.The democrat spent a huge time on character assassination of trump rather than speaking about real issues. That is where she lost the battle to start with.
2) Relevance: Speak of issues and customer pain
Many states of America was Florida, Ohio, and North Carolina were neutral markets which were deciders in the contest. Other states were clearly aligned to both sides and the results from those were a foregone conclusion. Trump & his team focussed completely on these towns
These neutral states of America was going through pain, joblessness, and high interest rates. People were tired of good policies which was not pushing economy forward. That is where the Trump brand positioned himself as the future of America. He promised change which was what the americans were looking for. He planted a thought in the people’s mind & developed that thought over period of time
3) Clear Brand Positioning statement
“Let’s Make America Great Again” of Trump was a powerful statement. It said past was better, present is not great& I will take you back to past again.
Clinton’s “Stronger Together” was also broad but it evokes process, & process is important, but the desired outcome is much less clear.
4) Enthusiasm of a new authentic brand:
Trump was a new brand against Clinton who was an old brand. He was not seen by many as a good candidate against experience of clinton. The only way trump could win over was with renewed enthusiasm & differentiating himself . Trump was a media man turned policitian who speaked his mind and hence had outlook of being authentic brand. He was unpolitical for most people.He had determination & stamina to go through a rigorous five speech a day campaigns and focussed basically on BTL campaigns in marketing parlance. The Clinton team relied mostly on paid ads & social media ads as everybody expected them to win.
5) Research, Devise & Communicate consistently
Finally it was about communicating about what people want to hear consistently about a better future. Trump did it consistently over a longer period of time. He was a different & disruptive brand.
Trump started as a negative brand and learned & corrected over the phase of campaign Brands in the modern era need to be strong harbingers of thought and differentiation & precisely that was the real difference in the end between Clinton & trump