Make Your Business Great Again
ver since Donald Trump first announced his candidacy for the President of the United States back in June, 2015, four simple words have captivated the political arena. Whether or not you agree with the Donald’s politics, or accept his sometimes controversial rhetoric, there is no denying the shocking and unexpected success of his polarizing presidential campaign. I’ll admit, sometimes it’s been amusing to watch perplexed political pundits and “establishment” politicians try to explain the Trump phenomenon.
Why is it working so well? Will he become the next president?
Part of the explanation to Trump’s success can be understood through his “Make America Great Again” campaign slogan. Not only is his slogan fairly effective messaging in terms of having an optimistic appeal, but it is also easy to understand and remember. What is important to note, is its lack of specificity. His campaign platform is not a detailed fourteen-point policy plan. Nor is it a nuanced command of problems our country is facing. Rather, it is simply an emotionally tied explanation as to why the Donald is running for President. In general, voters agree with the idea that America has seen brighter days and that something should be done to bring those days back.
So how can we explain how such basic messaging can be so effective? More importantly, what does this have to do with your business? In one of the top “Ted Talks” of all time, Simon Sinek discusses the topic of “How Great Leaders Inspire Action.” Sinek hypothesizes that the way people are actually inspired and motivated physiologically is counter-intuitive to the steps that most people take to persuade or convince others. Often times businesses and campaigns try to persuade consumers to buy their product, donate money, or vote for their campaign by telling you all about the detailed specifications. Who can forget Mitt Romney’s five-point plan for the economy when he ran for President in 2012? Oh that’s right, everyone!
According to Sinek, specifics are not necessarily a significant motivating factor when it comes to persuading your target audience or market. The most impactful way to persuade is actually by telling people the reason why you are doing something. It turns out that when people find out why you believe in something, they are more likely to believe in it themselves, and a belief tends to be a much stronger driving force than a preference because it is based on emotion. This notion likely explains Trump’s unpredictable success in the Presidential race thus far.
So while you may not be on the Trump train yourself, itis important to understand why so many Americans are being motivated to support his campaign. Love Trump or hate him, both the private and public sector could learn a valuable lesson in marketing from his campaign. People generally want to know the reason why you are doing something. They want to know your purpose for existence. The specific details about what you do can actually be the least important factor for decision-making purposes among consumers.