Great marketing is always backed by a strong brand with an even stronger message. As it relates to Politicians and, more relevantly, the election for Presidency, both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have used astute marketing to out-play their opponents. Ideas and messages may be strong, but if it doesn’t connect to a large enough audience, not enough people will remain interested and the allure for ideas may soon die off. And in this case, Hillary and Trump came out on top.
Take Bernie Sanders, for example. His socialist point of view and marketing pitch appeals to a narrow audience. He seeks to ensure free college education as well as promote broader anti-business views. He also tries to deter voters from Hillary saying that she is in the pocket of business. This view does not speak to the Democratic Party and where their main issues resonate. Instead it shows Republicans, who may be on the fence about their party, to side with Hillary as they often side with business interests.
On the other hand, Clinton’s message is status quo with respect to her policies. She is simply working to continue what Obama started. In this case, she seeks to fight for gender and racial equality. This appeals to a larger Democratic base.
For Trump, his success stems from strong brand recognition for the name Trump and an even stronger message, “Make America Great Again.” Before the primaries started, Cruz and Kasich were no names to the mass public. Trump has made sure to put his name on anything and everything as a businessman, not a politician. Even with Jeb Bush’s strong brand recognition, George Bush left behind a bad taste in American mouths and, as a result, Americans have long grown tired of the government as a whole. Trump was able to capitalize on something voters already resonate with by negatively positioning sitting statesmen. Trump’s ability to position himself as an outsider (good) and his opponents being insiders (bad) worked.
His message, “Make American Great Again,” speaks to a very large audience that believes America is no longer a leader both domestically and internationally. It is a simple message that is easy to understand and is actually catchy. For many, Trump’s message is like nails on a chalkboard, so much so that it’s controversial standpoint had the news media promote his content and name for free.
Why Hillary and Trump cleaned up in the primaries attributes to mastering one’s personal brand and dominating astute marketing. At the end of the day it is all about how to position oneself to gain the numbers and achieve results and the two were able to do just that.