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The Unequivocal Qualities of Claiming To Be The Best

Let me state first that I am not a supporter of Donald Trump. However, as a marketer, I am intrigued by his grandiose claims and statements that resonate with a marketing quality from which we all can learn.

When I was in high school, my friends and I would either bus (pre-driver’s license) or drive to downtown Minneapolis on Saturday for lunch and a movie. Our restaurant of choice was a little place on Hennepin Avenue called The Best Steak House. For five bucks we could get a T-bone steak, with salad, baked potato, and a Coke. We’d order at the counter and watch as the Albanian owner bludgeoned the steaks with a five-pound mallet, making them easier to cut with dull steak knives that could barely cut butter, and modestly chewable. Why didn’t he sharpen the knives? “I no want no one stabbing me,” Albanian Al would answer. “Why don’t you get better meat?” was met with the icy stare of Seinfeld’s Soup Nazi.

15 12 30 soup nazi

No, this was not the “best” steakhouse. However, it was the best we could afford, and we thought we ate like kings.

Mr. Trump is never shy about touting himself as “the best”, be it as a business person, golf course owner, or presidential candidate. He laces claims and promises with superlative adjectives like “huge”, “super”, “greatest”, “richest”, “best”, “really smart”, and likely more to come during this election cycle. Both scary and fascinating is that Trump’s bombastic rhetoric has vaulted him to the top of the Republican polls.

Why? Because he has claimed the high ground with his self-descriptive accolades. Anyone else spouting to be better, greater, or smarter while in the position of running from behind looks childish (Jeb!). Trump - the brand and all it represents, is brilliant marketing.

Golf courses are generally shy in their marketing efforts to espouse their qualities. Taglines like “A better place to play” is meek, weak, and ineffective compared to the bolder and more decisive “The better place to play.” It’s the difference between being indefinite or unambiguous. On most golf course websites and collateral, one has to look hard to find why one course stands out over another. If you look at enough of them, it becomes blindingly obvious that (1) golf courses don’t know what sets them apart from others, (2) they know but are too bashful to tell us, or (3) they know and don’t know how to tell us.

All of this points to one overwhelming conclusion – just like in war and politics, commanding the high ground reaps huge rewards. It is the best place to be. You’ll get super results. It’s the greatest thing you can do for your business. You’ll look really smart doing it.

Now go – tell the world you are the best. If you can’t, hire someone who can. You will like the results.