Those two words were once synonymous with Donald Trump, as he took on the role of being the host of The Apprentice. The billionaire had done everything with his life from marrying, divorcing and remarrying supermodels, having multiple book deals, endorsing multi level marketing companies, creating a real estate empire and having a few of his companies hit bankruptcy.
He dipped his hand into every pocket he could, whether it was by sticking his name on clothing that was sold by Macy's, owning a beauty pageant, or speaking at events, which paid him heavily to endorse their products and services. He acquired billions and billions of dollars.
He could have just went off and bought an island off in the middle of nowhere to live the rest of his days sipping cocktails while staring out into the ocean, but instead, he had bigger aspirations.
Those aspirations were to one day become The President of the United States of America.
But he knew that people would not take him seriously if he ran. He knew that people may even consider him to be a joke. In fact, that is what happened for most of the first two months of his campaign. But The Donald had much more in store for the world to see.
Donald Trump had this devious plan on how to go from joke to frontrunner of the Republican party.
But how did he do it?
Let's break that down into 9 steps:
1. Position yourself properly.
The Donald knew that Hillary Clinton would own the Democratic seat. He knew competing against such a remarkable person in the same party would be quite near impossible, especially since she has the full support of the Democratic National Committee.
But when you look at the other end of the spectrum, there was turmoil for a frontrunner in the Republican seat. There were many candidates who could have taken the frontrunner seat for the Republican party. One of the biggest problems though was that Americans feared having another Bush in office. Donald felt that there was enough disarray where he could step in and have the potential to come out on top.
2. Know your audience.
There are three main types of Republicans:
Donald Trump catered his main message to the radical conservatives because they are vocal. They beat the drum and they beat it loud. They make sure that anyone and everyone hears what they have to say.
To create the noise Donald Trump wanted to make, he knew he had to do something and do something big.
4. Define your brand.
Donald Trump has always been seen as a real estate mogul, a guy with funny looking hair, the host of The Apprentice or a cut throat business man. No one in the world ever saw him as a potential candidate for Presidency.
Donald recognized this, so he knew he had to change that perception. He had to make an announcement. On June 16, 2015, he spent 51 entire minutes announcing he was stepping foot in the Presidential ring, then he uploaded it on Youtube and his website.
5. Have a USP (Unique Selling Proposition).
Donald stuck his head into the Republican seat. He knew what republicans wanted.
He knew how to get it. Or at least he knew how to get people excited about it.
Instead of just making a modest claim on how immigration is a problem, he blew the problem out of proportion. He blew it up so big that he lost contracts with The Apprentice, Macy's, his Latino TV networks like Telemundo and many other parties. But he didn't care. He had money stacked in his bank account and he was going for the presidency.
6. Get the media to talk about you
Most media outlets are ran by sensible people. But it's very easy to want to report on people who look insane, especially if they have a high profile.
What person in their right mind would jeopardize losing contracts left and right? Let alone push away a whole demographic of voters that make up the biggest minority of our country.
Because of that, the media covered everything Donald said. Article after article for a whole month released on how crazy Donald Trump was. They said he had no chance to become president. They said that he was a joke. They said that he should lose everything.
But each time the media mentioned his name, his name became more and more synonymous with the title of President. Each article that showcased his outrageous claims started to seep their way into the inner souls of the people of America. Each time a new article was written, more people started to believe.
7. Double down
But that didn't happen until after Donald Trump doubled down on what he said. He made a statement he knew would cause controversy, but he stuck behind his guns. He was not going to back down. If he did, he would lose followers, because the radical republicans wouldn't see him as the man that would fulfill their goal. They would not think of him as their bold leader. He knew that in order to keep building his audience, he had to own his claims.
But he didn't just own his claims. He doubled down on them and said them again and again. As he further owned his claims and the media kept broadcasting his message, his ranks in the polls continually increased.
8. Utilize social media
Donald spent years building his social media following. Now, he uses it to speak his voice and recognize that he pays attention to his fans.
When the media says something about Donald, he has the ability to say something back. When fans show support, he can show he cares. By having millions of followers on multiple social media outlets, he created an outlet where he could put down his weight. He could speak up and speak loud with as much visibility as a traditional news publication. He could spread his message further and defend himself in times of turmoil.
9. Make sure people remember who you are
By doing all these things, all of a sudden, Donald Trump became the frontrunner of the Republican party. What may have seemed like a complete joke at first actually ignited the fuel Donald needed to provide the jump start to get ahead in the polls.
But it wasn't just his statement about illegal immigration that got him to where he is today. It was a combination of things.
At the end of the day, the American people want someone who can lead America to greatness. I don't really know why America needs to be great again, because I thought it was already great. But some people don't feel that way and they feel that The Donald can make this happen. And he just might.
Personally, I'm not voting for anyone this term, but watching as a spectator as the elections go by. I've opted out of politics a long time ago and have zero interest in them. But from a branding perspective, what The Donald did was absolutely amazing.
What ways have you been able to leverage yourself out of controversy and get ahead of your particular industry?