Given the opportunity, it would be great if you could define your competition. That is, to plant negatives that resonate with the customer and allow you to own that space. That’s exactly what Donald Trump has done with his adversaries. When he called Ted Cruz “Ly’in Ted and Marco Rubio, “Little Marco” he planted those negative images in the minds of Republican voters. With that done, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio had to waste valuable resources fighting those depictions. With the news coverage Trump demands he was able to repeat the names over and over.
Ted Cruz didn’t make his case any easier when his slogan is “Trust Ed.” What’s worse in my opinion is the glaring design error in his logo. He put the two words together, a common technique used in our online culture. Typically you separate the words using colour. Where Cruz went wrong was he made “Ted” the dominant word with a different colour forcing you to read it as TRUS TED. A trus is a transrectal procedure to check the prostate – beautiful picture there.
Little Marco played right into Trump’s hands when he started acting like a school boy reacting to criticisms (almost with glee). When Trump defined these two men he successfully planted anxieties in voter’s minds. The technique is a page out of Branding 101.
I don’t love Trump myself, but I have to hand it to him, that move was brilliant.