Why Trump’s Brand Won
I’m going to be honest with you: I thought Trump was a joke from day 1. I preferred Bernie, I wound up voting for Hillary, and was saddened on that fateful day in November when it was announced that my commander-in-chief would be the first ever President to have formerly hosted a reality show in which he scolded Gary Busey.
It was a terrifying prospect and I was shocked. How could the country have gotten this one wrong? Or if you are in the popular vote recount camp, how was it even close?
The fact is, Hillary, while being a highly qualified candidate (some even say the most highly qualified in history) was simply not easy to like. Her responses seemed rehearsed. Her laughter seemed forced. Trump appeared to shoot from the hip, to viscerally connect with the (albeit simplified) material. Hey, he was a real New York guy with a bold point of view. Do I agree with his point of view? No, not for the most part. But to quote Walter from The Big Lebowski “say what you will about the tenets of the National Socialist Party, at least it’s an ethos.”
Of course, I don’t mean to compare Trump with the Nazis, that would be a bit dramatic. However, what we can learn from Trump’s victory over Hillary is that it is better to have a strong belief and express it than to express “anti-beliefs”, which ultimately don’t amount to a point of view at all. Whether you run a major corporation, manage a personal brand on social media or simply want to make an impact in your next creative brainstorming session at work, it’s a valuable lesson to learn.
We often unconsciously react negatively to another person’s opinion or suggestion rather than replacing it with a more lucid vision of our own. Why? Because it is easier to rely on debasing your opponent than it is to curate your own point of view. In the case of the election, Trump’s strategy was to captivate the “real people”- the ones that deep-down were sick of politics as they knew it, and his bull-in-a-china-shop persona with reality show charisma fit the bill to a T. Most importantly, he had passion. Hillary was wooden and dull to listen to and worse, she seemed to be trying to hard. The whole hot-sauce-in-the-bag-swag-trying-to-be-urban thing was just a disaster. Love or hate Trump, he is who is is: a rich, bold, jerk. And proud of it. There is something that I genuinely admire about that, and I think it is a great thing to truly own who you are and express it openly and proudly, even in the face of potential public disapproval.
So be bold with your brand and your opinions. Even if you aren’t the best qualified, you may still earn a seat at the big table, and could even possibly become the President of the United States one day…I mean that literally.