Earlier we wrote about Hillary Clinton. This week, we will shine the spotlight on the other front-running presidential nominee: the notorious Donald Trump.
This post is neither meant to promote Trump nor the opposite – so don’t worry, feel free to read on. Rather, this post has to do with the influence of personal branding and how the creation and consistency of Trump’s personal brand has been so influential in his rise to presidential nominee.
So, what is a personal brand exactly? Well, it is the most powerful brand you will ever invest in. Today’s competitive career marketplace is saturated with skilled individuals all out for the same jobs, so the need to self-promote and broadcast has never been so integral to success. In fact, the notion of a “personal brand” has been around for almost 20 years, first advocated by Tom Peters, author of The Brand Called You: You Can’t Move Up If You Don’t Stand Out.
A common misconception about personal branding is that a person’s personal brand is what they say about themselves. That is not the case at all. Rather, your personal brand is a reflection of what others say about you when you’re not in the room. Remember – success is based on perceptions!
So, what does all of this have to do with Donald Trump and American politics?
There is no doubt that Trump has gotten to where he is today because of his (sometimes questionable) business success, a hard-working team behind him and ambition. However, how did such a bull-in-a-china-shop end up running against Hillary Clinton to become the next president of the Unites States? Well, he’s stayed true to his brand the whole way.
We’ve always known Trump to be aggressive, assertive, often rude, and to speak his mind, no matter the repercussions. That has always been Trump – as a businessman, a husband and father, and now as a politician. Many of these qualities are not exactly positive ones, so how did they help get him this far? Well, what these traits do show us is that Trump has stayed true to himself, and his brand. We can “trust” him because he is who is was years ago, as a businessman and a family man. He did not dramatically change tactics when entering the political arena. He did not instantly become polished, polite and “political.” Rather, he stayed consistent. Trump would have had nothing to go on if he hit the ground running for the candidacy as a polite, eloquently spoken version of himself. We would have questioned his authenticity big time, and not believed a word he said.
This is not to say that the only reason Trump is where he is today is because he was good at managing his personal brand, but it is certainly one of the reasons why he’s been so successful at climbing the political ladder.
The power of your personal brand should not go unnoticed. When building your brand, remember that authenticity is key (à-la-Trump) and that it should reflect the real you. Just as a career, it takes time and effort to cultivate your brand, so it’s best to start right away!