Scott Goodson of StrawberryFrog Takes 10 Brand Lessons from the Donald Trump ‘Movement’

By Patrick Coffee 

So, we are pleasantly surprised that we haven’t gotten more “marketing lessons to draw from the 2016 election” pitches.

How much can one really learn from this shitstain of a year beyond the fact that lots of people are suckers and partisan loyalties run deep? Many already know both of those things.

Anyway, Scott Goodson of StrawberryFrog found a way to combine the Trump campaign/movement with his own personal brand, his agency and his book/podcast “Uprising” to create a video that Little Black Book Online then published.

Trump started a “mass movement” by realizing that a surprisingly large number of people hate the same things above all others and proceeding to cater to them in the worst possible way by consistently saying the things that no one else would say, whether they happened to be true or not. Even if you were excited to vote for him today, you have to at least acknowledge that this is the case.

But how can brands learn from that?! Scott has 10 things to share.

We would not necessarily agree that Trump has “insightfully provoke[d] discussion,” except in the sense that people use him as an example of what not to do in any given situation.

But Scott does have a point on a few of these, right?? Keep it simple, turn people against a common enemy/other, make like you’re the king of a club that only cool/smart/un-PC people can join, etc. Not sure if that would really work with consumer goods unless you’re gonna define your brand by writing off a huge portion of the public and focusing on getting your small-and-shrinking demographic worked up into a frothing rage, but we get it.

Here’s what Goodson had to say:

“I can’t help taking a look at the election as a marketer, because I am one. Against hundreds of millions of dollars spent by traditional politicians, Trump has used provocation, his Twitter feed and a few other tricks to be wildly effective for over 18 months straight and, moreover, it’s cost him significantly less money.

We’re living in a time of uprisings — you just have to pick up the newspaper to know that. For those of us in business, it may seem as if all of this is transpiring in a separate realm, well outside the corporate bubble. But the new social unrest is everybody’s business, including yours and mine.

Something significant has changed in our global culture over the past couple of years. Blame it on global economic pressures, general restlessness, or the new hyper-connectivity that enables people to instantly organize around causes and hot-topics. It’s probably some combination of all of these factors, but the net result is that we, as business leaders, are now dealing with a populace that is more socially engaged, more aware of what’s going on in the world, and hungrier to get involved and be heard on various issues.”

We were maybe a little skeptical about the origins of the phrase “cultural movement,” but Google results, unlike Donald Trump, never lie.