Archives/ Monthly Archives/ June 2016

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Lessons from the Donald

Never mind the content, feel the style. Many might argue we have little to learn from the blustering Donald Trump, but they’d be mistaken. Trump connects with his audience, in a way most of us in brandland can only dream of emulating.

So how does he do it? The Economist has worked it out. True to the man, let’s keep it simple:

And that is the first lesson: he keeps it simple. Trump uses the vocabulary of a ten-year-old, with short, easily digestible sentences. “I’m going to build a big beautiful wall, and Mexico is going to pay for it.” Simplicity is powerful.

Secondly, he repeats it. Trump often says the same things several times in a row, deploying triplicates in a hammer-like style reminiscent of Churchill’s “We shall fight …”. Well, sort of.

Thirdly, he doesn’t do speeches, he talks. Trump speaks off the cuff, rarely using a teleprompter, with the expectation that he may stray into controversy at any moment. Spontaneity – a function of self-belief – is compelling.

Finally, he knows his audience. This has served him well to date, but it raises the key question around Trump. Can he now spread his gospel widely enough to land him a seat in the Oval Office, convincing even some floating democrats en route?

Actually he is destined to prove a one-trick pony, with a provocative rhetoric that appeals and alienates in equal measure. And that, thankfully, is not how politics is won.