Trump Brand Won Because of Trust

161110-blog-photoThere are at least a hundred definitions of Brand but only one that in my view encompasses all the possibilities:

Brand, any Brand, is the outcome of Trust.

Fail to get to Trust and you lose.

A Brand that has a singular vision, a mission articulated in a few understandable words, promoted consistently with words and pictures that touch the emotions will triumph if it gets to Trust. (See the video)

Sometimes it is a matter of how the Brand is positioned:

  • The Clinton tagline was: Hillary for America
  • The Trump tagline was: Make America Great Again!

In hindsight we know that he won because the people supporting him were the disenfranchised middle class that are opposed to the elites that they perceive to have hamstrung the government for so many years yielding control to the moneyed interests—the banks that took their homes, wall street and the big box companies that wiped out main street and the manufacturers that off-shored jobs.

The Trump brand was, pretty much, self-funded. It was Republican but not beholden. It was outrageous remarks followed by others saying “what he really meant.”

The Trump Brand was not a voice crying in the wilderness. It was heard by all the citizens out there beyond and within the big cities.” It didn’t matter what your party affiliation was. Your “tribe” was more important.

The Trump Brand is, for about half the population in the United States, a way to Make America Great Again.  Their belief is that an outsider and a business man can clean house in DC. and “straighten out” things that have “been done to them” over the  years, They Trust that they can “Make America Great Again.”

The last word of that phrase is the most important. The target audience, the people that voted in droves for him in the fly-over states are not looking forward. They see the USA as diminished. They want to go back to a different time. Their desire is to get “government off our backs.” Their hope is that the America they believe in, proudly serve, and honor can rise up and “do the right thing.”

Look at the difference:

  • Hillary for America (What’s in it for supporters? “I’m with her” was just as flawed)
  • Make America Great Again (It is what they want done and it implies the supporters will be a part of the solution and not part of the problem.)

The Trump line was carefully emblazoned on every item offered including the signature red baseball caps (and once or twice a camouflage cap). Hillary’s campaign offered nearly a hundred different designs, comments and reasons why. Little, if any of it, stuck to the wall.

They trusted Trump because in his bellicose way he said to them, “You’re right, we need to go back and I will keep shouting for you as long as it takes.”

They Trust him.

As I said, Brand is the outcome of Trust. I evaluate Brand development and report on it at If you’d like a neutral professional to review your Brand, call me.


Jerry Fletcher is the founder of  His consulting practice, now in its 26th year is known for Brand Development, Positioning and business development on and off-line.


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