Make Progress Great Again

As stingy as the observation is, progress lost the last elections. The success of Donald Trump was not a PR storm like CNN likes to make excuses for, but it was a winning brand strategy, as explained by J. Demers on Entrepreneur.

So besides focusing on tactics to control damage via institutional and political means, the main challenge for the camp of progress is to win the next battle of brands. Here is a short digest of strategic advice for Democrats and all partisans of progressive democracy in the world for the next rounds. (Hello, France.)


Trump highjacked the Republican nomination and in the process, imposed an unexpected change of paradigm for the conservative ideology, although he replaced the old platform with… an absence of platform.

That is something a runner like Macron in France is currently replicating: sitting on a Socialist government for a short time, he dramatically quit to run a non-partisan platform, preferring to offer an unclear brand position to an old and worn-down one. Not surprisingly, his profile keeps rising in the race for 2017.

> Politics require new brand platforms that old parties are not able to propose anymore. Progress needs to rhyme with Revolution again.


It is often misinterpreted that populism is politicians giving in to the opinion’s insecurities, when it is actually the opinion giving in to a polarizing brand. Trump did not follow a trending feeling in America by opportunity, he rather created a brand that people could clearly apprehend.

Brand love is not a matter of narrative or an effect of accurate polling. It is in fact a matter of self-persuasion and projected confidence. All leaders and brands currently projecting a sense of compromise and questioning are losing. The market being more and more saturated by contradictory contents (often inaccurate or plain wrong!), citizens are in need of certainty.

> Progress needs to become a radical brand, instead of a comfortable and balanced concept. Progressive minds can’t work at peace anymore, and need to accept the notion of combat as a noble activity.


The trending and super scary idea that we now live in a post-truth era should of course question the ethics of media companies. But it also highlights that citizens are not convinced by programs anymore. They are inspired by big ideas, as silly as they can turn out to be:

  • build a wall
  • get rid of …
  • stop something

These are creative ideas, and while they have been uttered with an evil agenda, sparking rage and encouraging discriminations, they are still creative and actually inspired the masses.

> Progress needs to be creative. Politics can’t be only the land of technocratic tinkering. Politicians are liable to the people for creating a greater good, and greater good only comes with great ideas. Should design-thinking inform political strategy? Well maybe. Certainly.

Like what you read? Give Vu Quan Nguyen a round of applause.

From a quick cheer to a standing ovation, clap to show how much you enjoyed this story.