Corporate branding critic: Trump’s brand is ‘idiocy’ — and he’s very good at it
In a recent interview with The Guardian, activist, author and branding critic Naomi Klein urged critics of President Donald Trump to not undermine the president’s personal brand of idiocy.
Klein — whose first book, No Logo, offered a critical look at the “branding of public life” by corporations in 2000 — told Guardian reporter Tim Adams that Trump’s ability to roll out his personal brand is a distraction tactic.
“I think he is a showman and that he is aware of the way that shows can distract people,” Klein told Adams. “That is the story of his business. He has always understood that he could distract his investors and bankers, his tenants, his clients from the underlying unsoundness of his business, just by putting on the Trump show. That is the core of Trump. He is undoubtedly an idiot, but do not underestimate how good he is at that.”
Klein went on to tell The Guardian that Trump has “surrounded himself with some of the world’s most expert crisis profiteers,” including billionaire and “king of bankruptcy” Wilbur Ross, who made his fortune flipping companies in crisis and now serves as secretary of commerce.
“In any other moment, the very fact that the CEO of Exxon Mobil is now the secretary of state would be the central scandal,” Klein told The Guardian. “Here we have a situation where there is so much else to concern us it is barely a footnote.”
According to both The Guardian interview and Klein’s new Trump-focused book No Is Not Enough, the media focus on the alleged Trump-Russia collusion story is doing little to convert the president’s base against him.
“I am not saying Russia is not important, but Trump’s base is very well defended against that: ‘the liberal media is out to get him’, ‘it’s fake news’, and all the rest,” Klein said in the interview. Instead, she believes other questions need to be asked louder: “Is your social security safe? Is your healthcare safe? Are your wages going to be driven down?”
“He benefits so much from that focus away from economics,” Klein said.
Read the entire interview about Klein’s new book and her anti-Trump doctrine via The Guardian.