What They Want

Over the years, it’s been a main tenet of the screed that we don’t do politics in this space. I’m going to veer close to the line today although please believe me when I say that my interest here is only to use something that’s been happening in politics to make a business point.

Donald Trump enters the Oscar De LA Renta Fash...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It appears that Donald Trump has assured himself of being the nominee of the Republican Party. What started out as somewhat of a sideshow became the main act as Trump sent 15 other more “mainstream” candidates packing. The response of the party elders has been along the lines of this quote:

With Trump’s success, “I’m watching a 160-year-old political party commit suicide,” said Henry Olsen, an elections analyst with the Ethics and Public think tank.

That’s mild compared to some other statements, and the morning shows have been filled with Republicans mourning the death of their party and expressions of fear about the forthcoming November debacle.

As an observer of all things business-related, I find the entire thing both logical and instructive.  Think of the Republican party as a business that has only one competitor (Donkey Co.) in their business sector.  Let’s call the business Elephant Co.  For most of their customers, using the other business isn’t an option because the product Donkey Co. sells is totally unacceptable.  As it turns out, the product the Elephant Co. has been selling hasn’t been totally satisfactory either.  The management of Elephant Co. was way more focused on the upcoming sales season than on customer satisfaction and delivering on the product promises they had made.  Each model year they’d make promises and ask for money, and each time they didn’t really deliver (while continuing to ask for money for maintenance).  What would you expect to happen?  I’d expect the customers to revolt.  In my mind, they’d send a message to Elephant Co’s management.

That’s what I think has happened here.  We have a political party that’s out of touch with a significant segment of its customer base.  No company can afford to ignore customer feedback.  No brand can fail to deliver on the promises it makes on a consistent basis over a long period of time.  As Ray Davies of the Kinks wrote, “You gotta give the people what they want.”  In this case, since the people weren’t being given it, they’ve decided to take matters into their own hands and send management a message.  That’s my take.  Yours?

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Filed under Reality checks, What's Going On

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