• 2 minute Read

How to Brand Like Donald Trump

From premium vodka to real estate to a hit TV show, the Donald has it going on in spades. Herein lies his secret weapon to creating killer brands that we all talk about.

New Yorkers have a unique way of embracing others. I’m one of them so I know whereof I speak. Sometimes this is verbalized, other times it is just an attitude and approach to getting to know somebody. Spoken or not, it’s always there. Like some subtle expression in the Trump boardroom, a keen eye catches it, a lazy one misses it.

Peculiarly enough, this mindset the Donald and other New Yorkers possess also matches the attitude of the shopper when relating to new products, new ideas, and new innovations.

Bottoms Up

This scale–which starts at the bottom and rises to the top–can take days, weeks, or years to complete (and sometimes happens in as little as a few seconds) depending on the food present, the people one is surrounded by, or how the day has been going so far.

So here it is, in case you were wondering.

Trump’s New York State of Mind: Illustrated

It starts out here at the bottom, with:


(Notice, they ask someone else [think DeNiro]. You don’t get spoken to… yet.)

Once recognized (and this “Who the hell is this?” is recognition), it graduates to a direct question:


This is followed by a basic dislike because there’s something you are doing or being that isn’t admirable. Deal with it.


If you’re still around, and haven’t had your feathers ruffled too badly, you’re then rewarded with this:


You then get crowned with this.


And finally, you get the reward for putting up with all of this crap.


(Or in the case of a brand, this is the point where you’ll get purchased.)

There it is, Trump’s approach in a nutshell. It’s a beautiful thing.

Got a problem with that?

©2011 DBD International, Ltd.

Recipient of over 320 national and international design and branding recognitions and awards, David Brier is an award-winning brand identity designer, author, and branding expert. His firm’s work has won the admiration of peers and organizations but has, more importantly, helped clients jump-start their brands in new and innovative ways, even (and especially) when they’ve failed in previous brand makeovers. Most recently, David’s celebrated work for Botanical Bakery was selected for the 2010 Communication Arts Design Annual and will be featured in “The Big Book of Packaging.”

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About the author

Brand identity expert, veteran designer, author, speaker and Fast Company expert blogger. He’s been written about in Forbes.com, INC and Fortune Small Business.



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