On January 20, 2017 the internet roared over the inauguration of Donald Trump as the President of the United States (POTUS). The World Wide Web was loud as commentaries swarmed about Trump’s election as the POTUS. Netizens around the world spewed their own opinions as to why they think he is or is not a fitting leader of one of the most influential countries in the world.

trump and marketing

Donald Trump stepped into office with mixed reactions from the American people because of his controversial platform. Citizens are divided on his idea of making America “Great Again”. / Photo from The Rolling Stone.

The comments about Trump, however, have started coming even before he won the elections. During his fight for the presidency, Trump became one of the most notable presidential candidates for his controversial actions and words.

Aside from his platforms that were deemed “divisive” by non-believers, he also used a unique language during the campaign. Some of his most popular linguistic mechanisms were giving “catchy” names to his opponents such as “Crooked Hillary” for Hillary Clinton and “Lyin’ Ted” for Ted Cruz. His declaration to“build a wall” to bar immigrants from Mexico also captured the world’s attention.

 

Language as a tool to market himself

Although it’s easy to consider his language as crass and informal, Trump’s use of language during his campaign actually helped in his ascent to presidency. His word choice, although in some cases insensitive and offensive, became his strongest tool to market himself to voters.

Here are some of the strong points of Trump’s use of language during his campaign:

Consistency

During the campaign period, Trump’s taglines “Make America great again” and “America First” were some of the most memorable. They weren’t complicated and were easy to remember. They held the promise that with Trump’s leadership, America will develop and regain it’s standing as the most powerful nation in the world.

Throughout the course of the campaign, Trump worked on reiterating his platform through his slogan making it easier to retain and absorb the message. Much like Nike’s “Just Do It” and McDonald’s’ “I’m loving it”, Trump used his slogans to promote his platform and create a good image for himself.

Planning and organization

Trump’s language has been interpreted as ambiguous and sometimes senseless. However, many of his short and targeted remarks (especially to his opponents) have been successful at creating an undesirable image for them. In the business world, brand wars are also common.

Each attack is less about calling names but rather creating a more unique marketing campaign that will outsmart the opponent’s schemes.

The “Pepsi Challenge,” for example, aimed to show how Pepsi’s drink tasted better than their competition, Coca-Cola. They responded with the “New Coke” campaign highlighting Coca-cola’s new and improved taste.

He says exactly what needs to be done

Notice that it’s what needs to be done that he says, but not exactly how he thinks it could be done. Showing that you’re sensitive to the amount of work that needs to be done shows that you’re aware of what’s going around you.

In the marketing scene, knowing exactly what needs to be done is related to the market’s call for innovation.

What innovations is your company making to tend to the needs of your customers? What makes your company unique? Highlight them in your marketing campaign through unique marketing strategies.

Trump had no political experience but he was able to win the American people over.


While his political party and unique platform helped in his ascent to the presidency, his unique language is what got the attention of his audience. Trump’s success, regardless of whether you support him or not, shows that with unique use of words, you can win people over.

If there’s one thing Trump proved, it’s that years of experience in the field or industry doesn’t always guarantee a huge and strong following. It gives hope to small business, like start-ups who are yet  to make their mark in the business world. With a smart and unique marketing scheme, you can capture your audience, you can win their hearts, and you can make it to the top.

Wennelle Jane Baldo
Wennelle Jane Baldo
Wenelle Baldo makes parallels between marketing and pop culture. It's what happens when you're obsessed with Batman, vintage films, and Tom Hiddleston.
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