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Shake Things Up!

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Derek BartonDerek Barton

It's a new year; time to shake things up! I know what you're thinking, "Didn't the 18-month Presidential race shake things up enough?" Yep, it sure did. What a ride that was, huh? Nobody predicted the outcome, including Trump himself. The Russians aside, his success was all about marketing, and I first wrote about it in this publication back in September, 2015 in my article entitled, "The Emotional Cocktail."

For a year and a half, we all had a front row seat to dozens of debates and ad campaigns in prime time. There was quite a cast of characters running for the highest office of the land. The debates were entertaining on the one hand and just mind blowing on the other. After all the astonishing things that were said, the bar was lowered enough that even I could run for political office.

Having been in marketing for over 30 years and a student of human behavior my whole life, I was fascinated by how all the candidates advertised and marketed themselves. No matter what business you're in, there was something to learn for all of us.

I've always believed that each of us is a brand. Whether you own your own company, work for somebody else or represent a political party, we are all brand extensions. What we say and how we say it is important. But, our message must be clear and concise, and it must emotionally connect with people.

After the election, political pundits were weighing in on Donald Trump's surprise win and giving their opinions on how he did it. One expert said, "Let's compare their slogans. Trump's was 'Make America Great Again.' Hillary's was 'Stronger Together.' Trump's slogan is more focused and emotional," he continued, "Where Hillary's is a little bland and didn't seem to resonate with people."

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