What food marketers can learn from Donald Trump

      What food marketers can learn from Donald Trump

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You either love him… or hate him.  But there’s a lot we food product marketers can learn from Donald Trump.

What food brand wouldn’t love 24/7 media exposure?  But that’s really the minor part.

Here are a few lessons to consider from The Donald:

  • True to his brand voice. He’s brash.  Some would say egotistical. Unapologetic.  He can be downright insulting to competitors.  But, most of all, he is consistent in his delivery.  Few food brands would want to mirror any of his characteristics — except the last one.   In other words, fully embrace your company’s DNA (whatever it is) rather than trying to be something you’re not.  Donald understands who he is.  If your bread company is seemingly stuck in 1920 traditions, embrace the nerdiness and customers will believe in the brand.
  • He’s social media relevant without gimmicks. Donald is a Twitter phenomenon and your brand probably isn’t.  Why? Because he’s just himself on Twitter (refer to bullet one) and doesn’t resort to gimmicks.  OK, some could argue everything Donald does is a gimmick — but that’s who he is.  He doesn’t change to “fit” social media.  Contrast Donald to the “viral video” gimmicks of Rand Paul who chain-sawed the federal budget. Or Lindsey Graham who whacked his cell phone with a golf club after Donald released Graham’s phone number.  The gimmicks of Paul and Graham were tiny blips that have been long forgotten.   So, don’t video yourself creating the world’s largest BLT sandwich — offer practical advice on how to make money with bacon.
  • He’s available. Your customers (like restaurant owners) want to hear from you.  The genuine “you” — somebody human, not a cold anonymous company.  But not a commercial.  They want to benefit from your expertise on how to succeed.  In all kinds of forums — from live events to Instagram posts.  And without being highly scripted because it’s unnatural to hear other humans recite a canned pitch.  Again, some could argue Donald goes too far in being “genuine.”  But most importantly he’s accessible to his followers.  One can always hear from Donald whenever they’re in the mood.  Food operators, on the other hand, often complain they rarely hear from the brands they use — let alone have the email or phone number for a company rep or broker that represents the brand.

Of course, most pundits give Trump virtually no shot at being president.  He’s too extreme for the number of voters needed to win the contest.  But from a pure branding perspective, you have to give Donald props.

Trump is like Monster Energy®— we all see and know the beverage, but most of America doesn’t drink it.  However, for Trump and Monster, their respective true believers will always be brand loyal because the brands are consistent, true to themselves and available.