(The) Donald Trump is an excellent example of American entrepreneurism in its most colorful form. Synonymous with New York real estate, beautiful women, bad hair, 90-story ego, distaste for dishonesty, and a clear killer-instinct in the business world, Trump also knows how to use people to make money for him.
Yet Trump is no exception when it comes to overcoming episodes of failure or great hardship. In the late 1980s when he fell into default with his mortgage lenders his back was definitely against the wall. But negotiating skills pulled him out of this slump with hardly a missed heartbeat. Love him or hate him, he certainly creates brand recognition.
His new reality show, The Apprentice, takes place in the unforgiving business world of Manhattan as eight women and eight men (all entrepreneurs in their own right) are chosen out of more than 200,000 applicants to compete for the ultimate prize: running one of Trumps companies with a huge salary.
20 million viewers watched for three months while Donald Trump outlined the buy-low-sell-high mindset of marketing, and each week they were divided into two teams and given their assignments. Each week one was fired for reasons such as choosing candor over loyalty, misconduct, or dishonesty.
As a viewer there was much to learn about what it takes to make it in business.
So how much money is enough money? Apparently 2 billion was not enough because The Donald released his new book titled How To Get Rich as his new show The Apprentice hit the screen. It was sold across America in every bookstore during the full three month season.
And if you want to witness marketing strategies at its finest, you must have enjoyed the presentation of two dumpy apartments by Trump as each team renovated them for him — not only free, but they found tenants for him afterwards! Or selling lemonade on New York streets for $1000 each with the Trump label on the glass.
In a brilliant move he also introduced his latest venture the water business — by having the teams compete to see which could sell the most bottles. So let me ask you, if you walked into your neighborhood convenience store to buy a bottle of water and happened to come across one with Donalds picture and the Trump brand clearly stamped on it, would you buy it? Well, maybe, maybe not.
When The Apprentice ended its first season and all had been fired except Bill, was Bill the real winner? He now has a career running one of Donalds many business ventures.
But look what Donald Trump gained a master marketer molded in his own image, two renovated apartments fully rented, a bottled-water business that is flourishing, a book on the best-sellers list and another TV contract for a new three-months of The Apprentice.
© Esther Smith