With the news in from the US Election yesterday what can we learn from the pre-favourite Mrs Clinton losing to Mr Trump? Why do you really think Mr Trump actually won and why did Mrs Clinton lose from a perceived dominant position? For those of us who are in the business of getting a brand, company and it’s services into the market, what can we learn from the 2016 US Election? For those who are looking for work & interviewing how important is it to get your message/beliefs across to the people interviewing you?
Politics like business there are always going to be brand champions, people who will always vote for their party Republican/Democrat or in business think Pepsi/Coke, Mercedes/BMW, Apple/Samsung but what about everyone else – the undecided customers?
Looking at other factors that at the start of the election you would believe would have made a difference but in the end did not come into play:
- Brand Awareness – Both candidates already had high brand awareness, Mrs Clinton with her work in politics previously and being married to the former president of the United States. Mr Trump with his “Trump” brand was already a household name before he stepped into politics because of his business in real estate and the TV show “The Apprentice” which had between 4-28 million viewers (1) so brand power played a part but they were already very even before this election started.
- Experience (Political) – Mrs Clinton had spent most of her life in politics with her husband being a former president. Mr Trump had no real political experience, his experience was in running his real estate business.
- Resources/Money – Mrs Clinton raised 1.3 Billion USD and Mr Trump raised 795 Million USD for the election (2).
I believe that Mr Trump won because he was able to connect with the people (his customers) and communicate his message across clearly and efficiently (Mr Trump doing mass rallies rather than Mrs Clinton door to door). He knew his target audience, he knew what they wanted to hear and they voted accordingly.
My main lessons from this election is how important it is to connect with your customers, learn your target audience, understand their struggles/needs and deliver a positive message with sincerity so that they want to work with you – they want to believe in you and therefore buy from your company. This election was a good example of how slating your competition and using fear really doesn’t score you any points – in fact your customers will go with your competition. Also be careful of what you did in the past but at the same time be open and transparent about previous indiscretions or it will come back and damage your brand if you try and hide it (private e-mail servers/discrete payments for speeches/recorded inappropriate conversations). Everybody in life has made mistakes in their work – don’t hide from it or be ashamed, tell the truth but most importantly talk about the positives that come from it and what you learnt.
Lastly my reason for writing this blog post was because of Mrs Clinton’s Concession speech this morning. For me personally it was the first time that I actually felt her message was genuine, honest, believable and heart felt. I really do believe that if she had stuck with this message during the election the result might have been very different.
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