Three brand lessons from Donald Trump

Know your brand, know your audience and work your magic on social media the Trump way

Know your brand, know your audience and work your magic on social media the Trump way

Love him or hate him, the Donald’s brand approach to the US presidential elections has commanded a great deal of media attention. We’ve rounded up his trump cards on what to learn and what to avoid when growing your business.

Know your brand and stay consistent

Trump Tower - a life before politics

One of the many Trump Towers in America.

Donald Trump is unabashedly himself. The Trump that we’re seeing on the news is already well known to most of the American public, having watched his career grow over the past four decades as a real estate magnate, bestselling author and business mogul on The Apprentice. Throughout his public appearances, Trump hasn’t changed. He has merely moved from talking about business deals to political issues with his recognisable “take-no-prisoners” attitude. With every new media gaffe or blatantly bigoted declaration, Trump’s ratings get a boost. The reason: Trump’s core supporters respect him for speaking candidly, without the polished finesse for which politicians are known.

Even people who oppose Trump’s candidacy can’t help but concede that his brand message has been consistent throughout decades.

Play to the right crowd

Ronald Reagan originally coined the campaign slogan "Let's Make America Great Again"

Ronald Reagan originally coined the slogan “Let’s Make America Great Again”

Trump seems to focus on a very select group of voters who are drawn to his ultra-conservative views and brazen way of expressing them. His declaration, “I don’t care what the experts think”, appeals to many republicans who have long-harboured frustration under a democratic president.

Similarly, your brand doesn’t have to have mass appeal. Identify your target market and work towards addressing their concerns.

International brand advisor and coach, Michiel Maandag, credits Trump’s branding success to his slogan: “A great slogan is a memorable phrase that is the summary of a brand.”

According to Maandag, Trump’s slogan, “make America great again,” resonates with a generation of voters who “subconsciously remember the slogan from the 80’s when Reagan used “Let’s Make America Great Again’. For others it gives a real reason to join the brand.”

Know when and how to use social media

Harkening back to his days in the real estate world, Trump has embraced social media since its early days in 2009. Since then, he has gained more than 6.78 million followers and pushed out more than 31,200 tweets. On Twitter, Trump has is retweeted more than twice as often as Hillary Clinton and about 13 times more frequently than Jeb Bush, according to data compiled in October by Edelman Berland, a market research firm that studies social media. 

According to internet marketing firm, Track Social, “Twitter is a high-volume channel, and unless you Tweet enough to get noticed you may be wasting your effort.” But does quantity trump quality on social media? Research from Social Bakers, taking  a random sample of 11,000 tweets from top brands revealed that three tweets per day is the point where brands start seeing significant engagement.

Clearly, Trump got on the social media bandwagon at the right time, and as a candidate, has been shouting about his successes and promoting his campaign messages on these platforms to spur conversations.

Beyond racking up dozens of Tweets a day, Trump’s posts are known to spark comments and engagement, resulting in massive spikes of engagement. Crowdbabble examined Trump’s twitter engagement by collecting data from September 2015 to January this year to study if his performance on the polls is correlated to his social media habits. On average, his tweets received 5,104.7 retweets, replies and mentions. 

Crowdbabble crunched Trump's social media numbers

Crowdbabble crunched Trump’s Twitter numbers between September and January.

Whether Trump could be the next President of the United States remains to be seen. But as we watch this public figure continue to gain global attention, it’s clear that brand Trump has remained strong over the past year.

Praseeda Nair

Praseeda Nair

Praseeda was Editor for from 2016 to 2018.

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