Mike Bloomberg lessons: YES people, ghosts, and brute-force do not work

mike bloomberg

In the Nevada Democratic Debate Mike Bloomberg, offered an example of how just spending money does not build a brand. Actually, in the history of sales there has never been a bigger failure of how money and intermediary metrics (likes, shares, clicks) mean nothing. Mike gave us a perfect proof that only currency customers accept is trust.

Summary of Mike’s errors:

He is surrounded by YES people
His YES people team never honestly and directly challenged him before he was exposed, and therefore they did prepared him. Exercise and challenges build a brand, not a safe bubble. Mike had a first reality check in a public debate which is too late. His team was treating him too nicely.

He hires Ghosts
He outsourced content creation instead of learning how to speak his own mind. He hired agencies and consultants to do the work for him, but he did not develop his own sales skills and, finally, when he was confronted he was weak. Ghost writers (ghosts) can work for a fast food brands, but not for personal brands. Making content is not only about metrics but also about developing creativity, arguments, and research – and Mike paid ghosts to do his homework.

He depends on brute-force, not new values
Brute-force is an advertising strategy used by brands which do not offer new values and do not innovate. It is sold by big media designed for big pockets and it has no guarantee of success. It is most effective with cheap products which require short decision time. Voters have a lot of time to decide to process a lot of information – basically voters are smarter than brute-force.

Half a billion USD in advertising was brought down by one public event, but could have been saved by 10 – 20 hours on Twitter.

If you want to build a strong and resilient brand than first work with a team which challenges your arguments internally, make your own content, and base your strategy on innovation and not advertising budgets.

Written by: Nikola Tosic
Publishing date: 20 Feb 2020