Nowadays all politicians brand their image and their ideas and Trump succeeded very well in this. For this reason, I have been very interested in the US elections but also scared of what was happening. I found it very interesting the way Trump did his campaign which was basically selling himself as a brand. I will not give any opinions in this post on the political part but only about how Trump branded himself. I will describe a very interesting process on how he managed his campaign and how the American people “bought” Trump as a president.
Trump is a very successful business man and managed his campaign and then his brand the same way a company would do. I want to apply what he did to the Keller’s Brand Equity Model. The first step is “Who are you?”: to do that and to make sure people will speak about him Trump said things that the other candidates would have never said in order to shock and make the media talk about him. Indeed, he did not act like any politicians in the past, he did not have any filters. For example, about the Mexicans and the wall he wanted to build. By doing that he was already answering to the needs of some Americans. He built his image by saying thing like that which is known everywhere because he was totally different than the other politicians. The second step is “What are you?”: A huge concern for American people was to have a job, Trump promised them they will have more jobs that they could ever imagine. He also showed how they can trust him when seeing his successful business life. He tried to target as much Americans he could by saying things that will answer to their needs and make them speak about him. The third step is “What do I think, or feel, about you?”: it is separated in two categories: Judgements and feelings. Many Americans had a good opinion about Trump prior the election because for them he was not like the other politicians. They saw him as the man that could save the US and “make it (America) great again”. Trump was saying what they wanted to hear. He was also credible as he runs his own business and for this reason he was superior to the other candidates. He made them feel as well that he will take care of “America first” and answer to the need of Americans first. This leads to the last step: “How much of a connection would I like to have with you?”, the resonance. The fact that Trump was elected shows that many Americans in a way have been loyal to him and his project. We can then say that the Americans wanted lot of connection with him and liked his project and him. But now that he is the President as we have seen in the media this loyalty is decreasing drastically and Americans are starting to think that it might not have been to best choice to vote for him.
This proves the importance of branding and it can even lead to be elected. As a business man Trump ran his campaign as he would brand a product. In my opinion, Trump was very successful in branding himself and his campaign the results of the election proves that. It remains to be seen if the brand he created performs as well as the people who engaged with the brand expected to perform.