“Trumping” it in business.

Trump Towers ,USA,owned by the controversial Donald Trump.But is there anything to learn from Trump?
Trump Towers ,USA,owned by the controversial Donald Trump.But is there anything to learn from Trump?

I know few argumentative people than two brothers  of mine although they are not argumentative for the sake of it.They are brilliant minds and its just that we do not agree on some issues,particularly  with the eldest!Last night was one of those days when we had to argue with the other brother and the subject of the argument was my portrayal of Donald Trump as a great businessman in one of my Facebook posts.

My brother from another mother did not agree with me on that  and had to dig stuff from the 80’s and present just  to whip me into submission and make me realize that Trump is not what I made him to be.We agreed to disagree as there was no end in sight to the argument. As I was preparing to pen this,I told him I was going to use Donald Trump as an example and he energetically responded “bring it on”.

Donald Trump is not everyone’s favorite character,me included! For most of us he represents the ultimate “devil’ who launched a spirited campaign to discredit Barack Obama as he sought office.Trump devoted a considerable chunk of his time in digging up anti-Obama dirt  and after he won Obama had his sweet revenge during the famous White House Correspondences’ Dinner on the night that the famous SEAL Team 8 was preparing to take down Osama Bin Laden in Pakistani when he embarrassed Trump in front of Washington’s whose who.I am sorry for boring you with politics,hold on! When Trump confirmed the obvious this year,whuch is  that he would run for the White House as  a Republican candidate,few gave him a chance.However as I write,he is leading in almost every other poll conducted in as far as the Republican nomination race is concerned.This has shocked a lot of people but there are things about this guy which have come to the fore during this nomination race that businesses can learn and I will touch on some of them.I have not missed a chance to read or watch a Trump speech so far and can’t wait for next  week’s debate when he squares of with other Republican nomination hopefuls.

1. Be over the top,its ok!

Donald Trump comes across as an arrogant and over the top guy.He is more known for his over-the-top showmanship and trash-spewing talk as a real estate mogul and now as someone aspiring to be in  the most coveted office in the world.He has not changed. For instance, he has said a lot of controversial and sensitive or is it insenstive things about Mexican migrants,women and their menstrual cycles and other such nonsense.You would think people will shun him right?Alas,these sort of antics get people paying attention to Trump  and his campaign.You need a certain level of boldness to do certain things.Often times businesses lack the guts to go all out!Come on!Don’t be afraid to do something bold in your business. Branch out. Look for new ways to appeal to your customers. Don’t settle for what everyone else is doing.Do a promotion or a campaign in a manner that has not been done before even if people think “its too much,you are taking things too far”. Who will if you don’t?

2. Be BOLD!
I basically love  ‘wars’ for attention by businesses.The ‘in your face approach’,I like it! It is not abnormal to taunt opponents!Donald Trump is good at that.While you probably won’t call your competitors stupid etc and also observe fair competition rules where necessary ,do not be a coward! Whether he has them or not is another thing ,but Donald Trump  is confident in his abilities and he isn’t afraid to tackle competitors head on.During  a working stint in Maputo Mozambique,I went to meet a marketing manager of a then upcoming mobile telecommunications player.The biggest player on the market had put a billboard that was facing these new players’ offices entrance,literally 5 or so meters away.The ‘in your face’ I am  talking about.I remember asking him what he thought of such kind of aggression from competition.His answer left me wondering.He basically said ‘man,these things will never end,we will leave them like that’. You would think that the biggest player on the market would at least afford to say that about this new player if at all but its the new entrant expressing ignorance at tactics aimed at  making them feel small and irrelevant.Lack of confidence in business leaves you at the mercy of aggressive competitors! Believe you are the best at what you do; you make the best product, you offer the best service. Don’t be afraid to showcase your confidence to your customers and/or competitors.They must feel you and know you can take them on pound for pound too.Whether true or not,this is what Trump says of his real estate empire:”Superior Quality, Detail and Perfection are the standards that Trump demands throughout its projects – from residential to resort, from hotel to golf, from commercial office to retail. The experience of owning a Trump property and living the Trump lifestyle is unparalleled.  One can see the touch of the Trump brand in every aspect of the properties that bear its name – from the design driven, cutting edge facades created in collaboration with the world’s best architects, to the flawless interiors designed specifically for each market to the world-class service – no detail is overlooked. With each of its properties, Trump continues to raise the bar of super luxury living consistently.”
3. Have a  look!.Be distinct. 
You will not mistake Donald Trump for anyone.The hair style ,that mischievous,almost naughty wink and smile, banter,abrasiveness etc.Trump understands the importance of creating a “look” all his own. He is not seen outfitted in snazzy three-piece suits. He wants to look himself.Properties like the Trump Towers are a message on who Trump is. His unique appearance and audacious personality have opened up doors for him  in the White House race.To question Senator John McCain’s war record,you need to be audacious! While he was  ranked almost last when this all began because he never was a politician,  he is getting more ranked than guys like Jeb Bush as I write!
You should have an easily recognizable look that is synonymous with your business or product. Think of the simple black shirt and jeans worn by the late Steve Jobs, or the famous Coca Cola logo. You want your customers to instantly recognize your brand not to try and figure out if its not another brand.Why name your product ‘Coolscade’ when there is a renowned brand called Cascade? There are plenty of names out there.Be distinct!Your product must not be like any other.It must BE the product that even if imitations come,they die a natural death.If someone tries the open mouth shut mind of Trump,they will be out of the race the next day.It works for Trump only because he is Donald Trump and there is no other Donald Trump. Don’t be like everyone else in your field. Brands are always competing for consumers’ attention, so stand out. If you don’t, they’ll follow someone who is.
4. Do not lose sight of the bottom line
Finally,everything that Donald Trump is doing is aimed at one thing and that is winning the Republican nomination and ultimately  the ticket to the White House.He will do more antics,say more nonsensical things,call people names and stir controversy but he is playing his game.He has a goal in mind,no matter how far fetched it seems to some.As a business,do not lose sight  of the fact that you are interested in the numbers at the end of the day.Whichever tool or method you employ on  on brand building/development and or brand awareness , the ultimate goal are the numbers that will come about as a result of such methods,short,medium and long term.Unfortunately   most of the times companies just brief  agencies and let them go out there with no set targets.Consequently the agencies do not pass down the pressure to their teams on the ground to deliver.This must not be so!Let us be clear about this one thing,ultimately it is the sale you are interested in.The vehicles and channels to achieve that will vary but the bottom line remains and do not lose sight of it.

 George Damson is a coat of many colours. He can be reached on

Cell: + 265 997 416 972.


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