Surprised? If so, you are not alone. I have already gotten that reaction from having mentioned this week’s subject to my ‘inner circle’ earlier in the week. Donald Trump is quite a polarizing figure. There are those that admire him and loath him in business. There are those that support him and those that vehemently disagree with him politically. Virtually everyone uses his hair style as comedic fodder. With all of this in mind, I’ll get to one of the key points from this week’s post
Popularity is not a requirement to be a fearless brand. It’s true. What about that saying “All things being equal, people do business with – and refer business to – those people they know, like and trust.”? That’s a 100% true statement. (There are fearless brands who are not polarizing. See my blogs on Rodriquez and Phil ‘Lefty’ Mickelson.
One of the objectives of branding is to ensure that all things are NOT equal. Effective branding results in a clear differentiation in the market place. Yes, it is essential to acknowledge all of the equalities between one’s own brand and competition. However, what is key in achieving the results of effective branding is to discover, clarify and communicate those attributes which set you apart from your competition.
Does this mean that you are ‘better’ than your competition? Not necessarily. What it does mean is that you are different from your competition. If those differences better serve more people’s needs then you have a distinct competitive advantage. Your unique positioning will appeal to those who find your attributes desireable. That will never equate to everyone.
Fearless brands are built on the principles of my Seven C’s of Branding . Building a fearless brand means that you have knowledge of what you can (and cannot) control. You have total clarity of who you are, of your positives and shortcomings. You will know your value and have a keen understanding of who that value will best serve.
Donald Trump is polarizing. He does not care. He should not care. Trump knows his value proposition, his beliefs and his standards. He knows how he does business and has a good understanding of who will do business with him as a result. He typically gets what he wants at terms very favorable to him and his company.
Whether you are a fan or not, Trump is very successful in real estate, as an author, a golf course developer and now a TV personality. He is a graduate of the Wharton School of Business. He has lost it all and earned it all back – and more. Trump is not bashful about espousing his opinions on topics of which he is very passionate.
Agree with him or not. Like him or not. Trump is authentic and genuine about who he is. He has total conviction that his path is the right path for him (and perhaps others at times? :)) He is consistent throughout each element of his empire. These are the factors that make Trump a fearless brand.
What do you think? Does one need to be liked to have an effective brand – a fearless brand? I look forward to hearing your thoughts.