Recently Ian Stephens, Saffron’s Managing Partner, was interviewed by online US political publication WhoWhatWhy, speaking about Donald Trump’s personal brand as he runs for US presidency and prompted by Trump’s own court filings stating the value of his brand in the billions of dollars.
Love him or hate him, if ever a brand could be said to be disruptive it’s this one. Former President Bill Clinton, no slouch himself in political branding, recently called Trump a “Brand master” recognising his supreme ability to rise above the campaign noise and cut through with his message and brand narrative.
Trump is currently riding the global wave of voter appetite for authenticity that favours extremes on either side of the political divide (Jeremy Corbyn and Bernie Sanders on one side, Trump and Le Penn on the other). All of whom can be said to be following the disruptive brand playbook: they are ‘vibrant’ in their vision, genuinely seeking what they see as a revolution in thinking, ‘daring’ in their communications, speaking from the heart and with genuine passion, and finally ‘authentic’ in their style. Say what you like about Trump but you can’t say he’s overly packaged by his campaign managers, if he even has any.
Ian speaks about Trump’s business success being rooted firmly in the strength of his personal brand which certainly has some value in certain fields, but he also feels the Trump brand franchise is at risk as never before. If he wins, unlikely as most commentators think that might be, the rules of politics will disconnect him from his business interests. If things go sour during his election campaign it could tarnish his brand in the long-term. Ian is quoted as saying “If I was buying stock in Trump’s brand, I’d probably want to sell it now,”
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