Regardless of your opinion of Donald Trump, he provides a tremendous opportunity to study proven marketing principles in action. He is flawlessly executing 9 of the 22 concepts found in "The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing" by Al Ries & Jack Trout. You can apply them to your business too!
Law of Mind.
It's not important to be first in the market, but first in the mind of consumers. Trump is always the first candidate to post each morning on social media. He wants to be first in the mind of his audience, which includes media producers who are deciding what news they will cover for the day.
Law of Focus.
Of the 17 Republican candidates during the presidential primary race, only Trump owned a word, phrase, idea. He focused relentlessly on immigration. We knew immediately where he stood.This is a key marketing strategy that distinguished Trumps' candidacy early on. Our minds need simple, meaningful anchors. Familiar words are rich with meaning, steeped in emotional energy.
The Law of Focus has four key elements:
1.) what you focus on you find.
2.) What you focus on seems real.
3.) What you focus on grows.
4.) What you focus on becomes you.
Trump has used this continuum of focus to galvanize a bulletproof constituency. Once he found his voice with his core audience, his laser focus made the message seem real, then it grew, then it became the identity of his followers.
Law of Opposite.
Trump uses this law with military precision. Whatever the other side says, he says the opposite. Whatever they expect him to do, he will do the opposite. Whatever is perceived to be the accepted convention he will run for the opposing view.
Even if many believe it is wrong, reckless, or irresponsible, it doesn't matter as much as the law of the opposite. The reason this works is because the consumer is looking for contrast.
Shoppers of products, services, and political candidates are looking for the easiest decision they can make. A clear contrast makes for easier the decision.
Law of Candor.
How can Trump get away with being so candid? Candor is disarming and refreshing. His reward? Audience loyalty builds because he says things that other candidates will not say. He's constantly surprising people. It doesn't matter if his statements are outrageous. His supporters quickly forgive him because they embrace the candor.
Law of Singularity.
In marketing, often a single bold position positions a product or service. Trump's single position that catapulted his candidacy into a winning mode was the concept of "the wall." He may change the wording slightly, but he cannot divorce itself from that position because it's the one move that made him.
Law of Acceleration.
This law states that successful programs and campaigns are not built on fads but on solid trends. Trump understood the growing trend of discontent and distrust of most pillars of authority in our society, and integrated it into his platform.
Law of Resources.
The concept of resources is often misleading. People often thing about personal financial resources. Trump understood that he needed a lot of resources and also understood he did not have to own them as other politicians believed.
Trump intentionally gave the media what they wanted: story after story. They inadvertently gave him billions of dollars in free airtime and publicity. This is also why all of his books are now best-sellers.
Law of The "EST" Word.
In crafting a brand position, we strive to master the law of "EST." With so many product choices today, this law is a must. No matter what your product, you always have an advantage when you win the law of EST. Biggest, fastest, slowest, safest, loudest... he has won the "EST" contest hands-down.
Law of Duality.
Every market eventually becomes a two-horse race. Burger King and McDonalds. Coca-Cola and Pepsi. Nike and Reebok. Crest and Colgate. Trump and everyone else.
From the start, Donald Trump put every opponent in a similar basket. One by one, he berated them in much the same way. Once Trump positioned himself against the world, it instantly became a two-man race. The law of duality was set in motion early in the political process.
One of my most important mentors, marketing and media expert Zemira Jones, shared these insights with me during a conversation when I expressed frustration and confusion over Trump's successful campaigning - despite his offensive, divisive, and destructive messaging.
He helped me to step back and see the campaign from a business perspective. Nothing Trump is doing is random. It is all expertly calculated to keep all constituents and media outlets consistently focused on him. Regardless of whether we vote for him, we can learn from him.