Ali was known for a brash, in-your-face, over-the-top persona. He was probably not just the greatest and most well known boxer of all time. He was definitely the greatest boxer-marketer that we have seen.
With Ali’s passing we’re seeing an almost eerie similarity in the rise of Donald Trump.
They’re both humble.
“It’s hard to be humble when you’re as great as I am.” – Ali
” I will build a great wall — and nobody builds walls better than me, believe me.” – Trump
They’re average Americans.
“I’m young; I’m handsome; I’m fast. I can’t possibly be beat.” – Ali
“I’m really rich” – Trump
Kind of laid back slackers. Not too sure of themselves.
“Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee. His hands can’t hit what his eyes can’t see. Now you see me, now you don’t. George thinks he will, but I know he won’t.” – Ali
“We will have so much winning if I get elected that you may get bored with winning.” – Trump
They’re scared of the competition.
“If you even dream of beating me you’d better wake up and apologize.” – Ali
“I don’t know if Hillary will be able to run, she is a walking time bomb!” – Trump
They’re boring and struggle with marketing themselves and their causes.
“Braggin’ is when a person says something and can’t do it. I do what I say.” – Ali
“The final key to the way I promote is bravado. I play to people’s fantasies. People may not always think big themselves, but they can still get very excited by those who do. That’s why a little hyperbole never hurts.” – Trump
Both Ali and Trump had their passionate followers. And they also had very vocal haters. Both made controversial statements on a regular basis. Both were adept at manipulating the media to market themselves and stay in the spotlight.
If Ali had grown up in today’s world I have no doubt that he would have been as much a Twitter beast as Trump is.
So now lets take this to you.
How are you marketing yourself or your business?
Are you differentiating yourself from your competition? If you’re an employee, what are you doing to set yourself apart so when layoffs come, or opportunities for advancement present themselves, will you be able to benefit from that ever-present change?
Or are you just plugging along in your job. Head down. Doing the same thing day in and day out. Not driving to a new breakthrough. Not creating greatness. Not being that go-to person that everyone relies on – not making yourself indispensable.
Or you’re a business owner. And people look at you and your competitors and just think of you both as one and the same. What have you done to break that mold of average? What have you done not just to get 5% or 10% better, but Apple better. Leapfrogging the competition and leaving them in your dust? And have you marketed that? Kept in the limelight enough so that your clients would think of going nowhere else but to you for solving their most pressing problems?
So are you constantly reinforcing that you’re the best?
“I am the greatest!” – Ali
Or are you creating a cause that people can get behind? Like Trump’s presidential bid slogan.
“Make America Great Again” – Trump