Gabazira's blog

The Effectiveness-Lab

Trumpism & the entrepreneurial thread

We all have been bombarded with news items, video clips, RSS feeds on President-elect Donald Trump’s surprise victory. Academics are at work trying to understand the emerging phenomena of Trump – let us baptise the new phenomenon ‘Trumpism’.

Lecture theatres and social research labs at Ivy Universities all over the world, but especially in the USA, are busy at work trying to understand Trumpism

Twitter's influence on the American election Pic. Credit: Europe.Newsweek.Com
Twitter’s influence on the American election
Pic. Credit: Europe.Newsweek.Com

Yet, academic diktats aside, informal social research is always work-in-progress and we don’t have to wait for academics to arrive at certain firm conclusions about the key drivers of  Trumpism.  So, even you have been conducting informal social research on Trump, simply by the virtue of watching and reading the news, especially over the last two weeks

When faced with complex and a new phenomenon, humans, perhaps sub-consciously process personal inferences about the phenomenon they see.

And there starts the enigma of Trumpism – people see different things in Trumpism; others find it appealing and others abominable. There are those of you in love with Trumpism – i.e. the far right on the political continuum, especially in the USA. The centre right, will cherry pick from the Trumpism phenomenon. The center left  will express caution but still want to give him the opportunity to do his job as President of USA. The far leftists won’t hear him out – to them, Trumpism is an anathema.

Like in many matters human, what you see, perceive, get interested in re.: Trumpism is a matter of: individual values, likes or dislikes, beliefs, political inclination, etc

What has struck you as unique in the emerging phenomena of Trumpism?

We are apolitical at the Effectiveness lab; so you should not be surprised that in observing the emerging Trumpism phenomenon over the last 18 months, peaking in the last two weeks, our interest is in what Trump has done since he was a child – business. We shall leave matters political to those of you that have political inclinations

Delve a little deeper, and you will observe that President-elect Trump’s entrepreneurial 7th sense is never far from him.

Trump’s entrepreneurial approach to the use of Twitter as a campaign tool:

Social media, specifically Twitter helped Donald Trump win the election.  So what did Trump do that is different from other Twitter users, specifically, his arch rival in the 2016 election Hillary Clinton?

Trump connected with his tweeter constituency, supporters and non-supporters all the time – President Obama once complained about Trump connecting with potential voters on Tweeter at 3:00 am. Hillary Clinton had a familiar tagline for the campaign: ‘a man you can bait with a tweet is not a man you can trust with nuclear weapons’. As Hillary Clinton got on the campaign trail and talked, Trump was busy deploying the twitter arsenal with entrepreneurial zeal

Mike Berland, a political operative who worked on Mrs. Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign and is chief executive of Edelman Berland, calls it the “Wall of Trump.”

“We’ve never seen this before in politics,” Mr Berland said. “This is not just a rally that happens once in a while. This is a continuous Trump rally that happens on Twitter at all hours. He fills the Twitter stadium every day.”

Hillary Clinton equally had access to Twitter, but used bots more, instead of going for that personal touch with the voter; Trump opted for the opposite, and perhaps, even those of us that wrote him off, now believe his entrepreneurial 7th sense beat us all, but even more so, Secretary Clinton’s powerful and smart campaign machine

Trump’s twitter tactics:

  • Winning over clients is about getting your rapporteur with them right – and Trump did exactly that – he personally connected with supporters, foes, and independents via Twitter. Trump found a way of directly talking to the people, Hillary resorted to the orthodox campaign as well as passive online bots technology. Trump received double the number of Twitter mentions as Hillary and also had a 40% higher following than Hillary Clinton. Of course helped by the USP – negativity
  • It was not only a case of effectively using Twitter by Trump, but he also defined a product and positioned it well in the market; Trump’s USP was creating fear and anger on twitter; a negative USP but in hindsight, pretty effective for him. He created a unique product, positioned it well, and the ‘buyers’ obliged. There was nothing wrong with Hillary Clinton’s campaign product (USP), only that for the American’s (some), Trump did a better job at market research and product marketing – is that not what entrepreneurs do all the time?
  • In business, your first obligation is to avoid cost, maintain quality, and ultimately boost your bottom line ($). Trump is a master at this. In going with Twitter, and selling a unique product, he got free airtime on TV and other media. His negative tweets were displayed by Media houses, free of charge. Trump spent $4.62 per vote compared to Hillary’s $14.55

Trumpism – eliminated huge costs from his campaign communications budget line – by targeting free, effective and efficient platforms. Trump, in the ‘aftermath’ of the election, said: “Twitter & Facebook is like owning a newspaper without the losses.”

What is your analysis of the Trumpism phenomenon?


8 responses to “Trumpism & the entrepreneurial thread”

  1. i am still digesting….Not i understand what happened!


    1. Well, you have to accept that enterprise and the sheer will for Trump to get what he wanted at any cost to humanity did win this time

      The Trumpism phenomenon – welcome to the Shark-Tank!


  2. The voting trends in USA presented a learning on how human mind is structured to a level that “others” still think that Trump is not going to be a US President.


    1. Hello AM – thanks for the comment and reading the blog; you are spot on – denial is something we experience all the time

      It is like when someone sales a ‘bad’ product in a market and does a good job at marketing it.

      Those that believe the product is bad, will never add to the demand for that particular market-niche. However, you can’t eliminate the product owner from the market, much as you hate them

      That is where some of the masses in the USA find themslves

      I feel for them!!


  3. What I know; people will always respond to two things – threats and rewards! In the analysis of the Trumpism phenomenon, we need to analyze whether Americans responded to threats or rewards.


    1. Thanks Seddu for reading the blog – I am sure there was a ‘product’ or ‘narrative’ that Trump sold to the Americans – what that was, he was pretty effective at his: product research – packaging – and communication

      Good or bad a product, we all learn that astute business people will not always win on the morals of their case, but how good it is ‘sold’ and the extent to which it addresses need at a point in time

      Trumpism has showcased this aspect of business – I will end with the ask: is this unique to those with business acumen, or can we all do it?


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About Me

Apollo B. Gabazira is an Ugandan OD. junkie fascinated by matters that render organisations/individuals effective or not. He blogs on effective leadership and management. He is a devoted green-farmer and breeds the Ayrshire cow at Nakabugu, Luuka district, Uganda. Apollo is quite effective at what he chooses to do.


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