Malick Ba

Revisiting Donald Trump’s Personal Branding

October 11, 2016

Remember my article about Donald Trump? Well 6 months and two major presidential debates later,  I think it’s about time we address how his behaviour, ideologies, and personal branding has developed over this period of time.

After watching the two presidential debates, we are seeing Trump’s colours in a way that doesn’t necessarily add to his qualifications of being the president of the United States. While he’s always said things that have been wild and most of the time outrageous, he’s just hurting his image at this point. Trump’s personal branding has always been about dominance, power, and “respect” (using that one very loosely) through absurd statements. However, when we get closer and closer to election day, it’s obvious that these outlandish comments that he makes are only hurting himself and his chances to become the 45th president of the United States. This entire debate showed that the way Trump perceives himself through his words and actions don’t align with his political abilities.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump answers a question during the first Republican presidential debate at the Quicken Loans Arena Thursday, Aug. 6, 2015, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

This election period has only shown that Donald Trump and his personal brand are not compatible in the political realm. The way that he speaks about himself and others are truly indicative that once this election period is over (God forbid he wins), the Trump brand will most definitely take a hit. How? Well let’s start with his recent comments about women. If you hadn’t heard, a video was leaked of Trump in 2005 talking about women in a disgusting way that no presidential candidate should do. Check out the clip below:


His arrogance has simply caught up to him.  I know that’s big part of his image and why he’s even in the spotlight, but in order to be a leader of a country, your branding to say the least has to be on point. There is a certain stature that it takes to be a leader, but the way Trump speaks is evident that he’s clearly not the answer. Even watching this debate was cringe worthy. While Hillary Clinton isn’t necessarily a great option, there seems to be no choice. The way that Trump carried himself especially during the first debate showed that his style and branding can’t coexist within this field successfully. With constant interruptions of the moderator, and yelling “wrong…wrong…wrong” after everything Clinton said shows his childish behaviour and clear lack of ability in this context.


In other words, Trump’s true image is catching up to him quickly. It still baffles me that someone with no political background who is basically a cartoon character has gone this far into the election process. Personal branding and the way that you present yourself in front of an audience is important, but when does your message get lost in antics? Was it the first debate? Second debate? As soon as he said he was going to run for president? Who knows. Personal branding is a powerful thing if used properly, but it can seriously affect your image in a negative way. You should take notes Donald.

Malick Ba is an advertising and marketing specialist currently living in Toronto, Canada. His academic background includes a Bachelor’s of Arts in Communications with a minor in Sociology from the University of Ottawa. Currently, Malick works at an advertising agency and is looking forward to how he can leave his mark upon the advertising and marketing world. Follow him on Instagram, and connect with him on LinkedIn.

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