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Entrepreneurship

What Can the Republican National Convention Show You About Entrepreneurship

What Can the Republican National Convention Show You About Entrepreneurship
Image credit: US Government
You're reading Entrepreneur India, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.

The Republican National Convention came to an end this week, with Donald Trump being crowned as the nominee for the Republican Party. The Quicken Loans housed 20,562 people, although significantly less actually turned up. With protests raging around the city and the news cameras pointing from around the nation focused on Cleveland, there was a lot of uproar surrounding this event.

But entrepreneurs should pay attention to what happened here. They can learn a lot from it about how to build a brand. These are notes every great sales team should take note of.

The Timing

Entrepreneurs need to launch their products and campaigns at the right time if they’re going to make the most of it. Timing is crucial because without it another company could get the jump on you. Imagine launching a company on cashing in a structured settlement only to realize the man next door has already done that.

Trump did this perfectly at the convention because he timed his ‘Dark America’ speech just at a time when Syria’s war is worsening, police officers have been shot in Dallas, and the Nice attacks have brought France to its knees. Now imagine if he tried to make the same speech without all these things. He would have seemed crazy.

With entrepreneurs, the key tends to be to get your product out as soon as possible. Waiting is one of the biggest mistakes that could cause your startup to fail.

Giving the Press Something to Write About

There were many talking points at the Republican National Convention, including Michelle Obama’s plagiarized speech. But most of the publicity actually came from the mass protests around Cleveland throughout the convention, and the other Republicans who didn’t show up.  This all wrote its own story.

As Trump has demonstrated, negative press doesn’t seem to affect him. This isn’t some lesson entrepreneurs can enact themselves without hurting their online reputation, though.

What brands can learn is they need to provide a story for the press, users on social media, and their customers to engage with. Creating a great story is what leads to great content. Telling a story is a marketing tactic that has been in use forever, and it’s not going away anytime soon.

Conflict is Not the Same as Controversy

Donald Trump, once again, courted conflict at the Republican convention by repeatedly calling out Hillary Clinton. His followers started chanting “Lock her up!” in response. Conflict is fine and conflict can work. You will be in conflict with a lot of your close competitors.

But sometimes it can be taken too far. Go back to when Donald Trump blamed Mexican immigrants for many of the problems in the US and it led to him losing a lot of partnerships and endorsements. Sometimes you can take things too far.

Conflict and competition can be good for business. It forces you to innovate and it forces you to work harder. Controversy, however, nearly always leads to you looking bad in front of your target audience. This is a fine line.

Sometimes You Need to Cool It

A lot of commentators said Donald Trump didn’t have much of his usual bravado at the convention. To an extent, this was true because he didn’t say anything that controversial or that fiery at all. He discussed making the country safer, but there was none of the controversy courted in earlier public appearances.

He largely read from his prompter which allowed him to come across as presidential to many of his supporters. This goes to show that sometimes you have to pull the iron out of the fire and relax.

Cooling down as an entrepreneur can come in many forms. To start with, you sometimes need to step away from your business and think about your previous performance. Self-reflection can help to make your business better. This is just one example of how calming down can do a lot for your company.

All Publicity is Not Good Publicity

The main lesson you should take away from this article is that all publicity is not good publicity. There are many reasons why you would want to court the eye of the general public, but sometimes you wish you hadn’t. A loss of face in public can bring a business to its knees.

For now, the Republican nominee has managed to survive most of the criticism, but this is not a game you want to play as an entrepreneur.

Sometimes you just need to put your head down and get back to work!

Edition: December 2016

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