trump for business

Finding A Silver Lining In The Trump Presidency: America Is the World’s Newest Emerging Market

Twenty-two years ago, I graduated from college into a world vastly dissimilar to the one that faces us today. The 90s were quite a different time with a different Clinton in the White House. The excess of the go-go 80’s had paved the way for more purposeful ideas, and America was still viewed as a bright and thriving nation and economic powerhouse.  A country of grace and elegance and ease. Jobs were plentiful, daily terrorist threats were not a reality, and while people swept up in the “grunge” of the times, exhibited a bit of the artist worthy angst that helped define the era, an overall sense of contentment and pride swaddled the nation.

It was at this time that I took my first job at a boutique government public relations firm who’s sole mission was to represent the Philippines, and its new democratic President, as great havens for overseas U.S investment dollars in the burgeoning Pacific Rim region.

President Fidel Ramos, my client, had been elected following the coup by Corazon Aquino, the country’s and Asia’s first female President, of billionaire dictator Ferdinand Marcos, and his notorious shoe loving wife Imelda. The country had a reason to swell with pride and the fledgling emerging market nation wanted the world to know about it.

This was not surprising as the Southeast Asian region, particularly hotbeds of growth like Singapore and Indonesia, began to assert themselves as viable and vital economic engines. Before BRIC there was the ASEAN list of third world nations poised for rampant growth and development as technology first reared its head as the great equalizer. The era of the mighty and transformation driven emerging market was born, and today, twenty years later, it is these very nations that stand out as the world’s most innovative and vibrant economies.

What makes me think of that time in my life at this moment is the amazing similarities that are evident in our country today. We too had a mighty woman fighting to overturn the establishment and break new boundaries. The only difference lies in the fact that she did not win her fight, and instead of us moving forward with a great new Democrat, we are moving in reverse with a Marcosian Republican who has his very own gold encrusted palace, replete with designer shoes, and matching bejeweled wife.

While this all sounds like extremely horrific news, what if it wasn’t? What if our nation’s massive regression actually was seen as the greatest act of creative destruction of all time? What if tearing down everything to the core, instead of building upon band-aids and broken promises, will actually enable the world’s greatest emerging market ever to emerge in its place?

With a Trump presidency, fail as it may, won’t a new America in some way most certainly arrive? An America that has a big “Open for Business” sign on it announcing to the world that while we are no longer the home of industrial manufacturing, we are still the place that produces the greatest ideas and innovations the world as ever seen ? The country known for rising from the ashes like a Phoenix in its most dire hour? The phrase darkest before the dawn was born in the USA after all wasn’t it?

Amidst all of Trump’s buffoonery and blustering over non-actionable ideas, (i.e. shutting down the FDA and EPA??) there are few infrastructure driven ones that seem plausible and practical given his background, and in the best interest of our nation.

It’s not hard to imagine Trump improving our country’s energy grid, transportation systems or technological backbone, which will ultimately make us more successful, competitive and might even return a bit of our luster on the global stage.

It’s not hard either to imagine well placed brilliant business people stepping into vitally important roles as part of the new Administration. Jamie Dimon helming the Treasury doesn’t give me pause. It gives me great hope for resumed prosperity. Peter Thiel in charge of innovation, technology and entrepreneurial growth and development, would also offer me a bright light at the end of what currently feels like an extraordinarily long and dark tunnel.


A new made in the U.S.A. movement has been quietly taking shape across our great nation for the past several years, with old industrial regions being remade into hotbeds of innovation. Think of the new Silicon movement. Dallas is no longer just known for oil, but is regarded as Silicon Prairie, home of gaming technology and disruption. Venice Beach is still about brawn, but not for Muscle Beach, but rather the legion of revolutionary tech start-ups dominating its streets, earning it the title of Silicon Beach. SnapChat, BuzzFeed, Google and Parkme all have footholds in the new thriving center of creativity and disruption.

There is also Silicon Bayou, (New Orleans), Silicon Forest, (Oregon) Silicon Hills (Austin), Silicon Hill (D.C), Silicon Anchor (Virginia) Silicon Desert (Arizona) and so on and so on. And these just aren’t bright shiny new names. They are real monikers for hubs of new high-tech industries ranging from semiconductors, to biotech, to financial services, to healthcare, putting good and hard working Americans, regardless of race, creed or color, back to work.

There are also towns with former factory driven economies long gone, with new vibrant economic ecosystems arriving in their place. Detroit, Michigan and Braddock, Pennsylvania just to name a few. Both rebuilt anew after being torn down. Started completely from scratch out of a place of darkness, but fueled by the courage to imagine a brighter and better tomorrow.

While a Trump presidency seems like the end…The end of rational thought, empowerment, idealism, equality and all other things a thriving democracy is supposed to be associated with….Maybe, just maybe, if we try hard enough, not in the best interest of our new President, but ourselves as Americans, we can see it as the beginning. The beginning of a new day in America, where we are in fact great again, not because of the division Trump has ignited, but rather for the spirit of collaboration, ingenuity, resilience, intellect and hope our great nation was founded upon, and that only recovery from great failure can kindle.

Billee Howard is the Founder of Brandthropologie where she helps CMOs and CEOs executive produce their brands. Schedule a 15min call with Billee right here.

Note – This article first published on Billee’s Huffpost blog right here

[Infographic] How To Executive Produce Your Brand In 3 Steps

As the line between journalism and entertainment content continues to blur, brands have the opportunity to step up as purveyors of not just winning products, but producers of content that can drive both engagement as well as specific business outcomes that directly correlate to improved business performance. Following are 3 easy steps that will help CMO’s “executive produce” their brands in ways that both “push” and “pull” information and content, as well as drive audience reach and measurable engagement:

Step 1) Development: Think of a Brand Story as a Movie that is Being Written & Cast

Step 2Production: Think of Your Content Platform As Your Movie Set

Step 3) Distribution: Imagine All The Ways In Which You Can Sell Tickets to Your Show

Build A Brand

[Infographic] 11 Business Trends Entrepreneurs Need To Be Aware Of

As 2017 approaches, it has become apparent that the collaborative economy is not a blip or fad, or something that is related to just Uber or Airbnb, but rather a vital engine powering the future of global business and entrepreneurialism.

Following are some key issues and business trends to take note of as our world of We-Commerce, and palpable shift from the me to the we, continues to evolve:

Business Trends


[Infographic] Turn Your Brand Into An Award Winning Entertainment Studio

By placing a collaborative approach to innovation, marketing and communications at the beginning of the supply chain of invention, successful brands can effectively leverage cultures of collaboration to positively impact both commerce as well as meaningful communication.

The studio model, which focuses on the phases of development, production and distribution, all with an eye on building an audience that can be monetized both immediately as well as overtime, is a forward thinking approach any CMO should consider in today’s ultra competitive landscape.

Following are 3 easy steps that will help CEO’s and CMO’s “executive produce” their brands in ways that both “push” and “pull” information and content, as well as drive audience reach and measurable engagement:

Build Your Brand

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Sharing Economy Tips

4 Tips For Startups In Weconomy

In the sharing economy the idea of creating businesses that harness the notion of “we” has never been hotter. By creating innovations that leverage technology and the unique passions and expertise of individuals, new successful businesses are cropping up at a blistering pace with the ability to change daily life.

Whether it is Postmates, the delivery app that blends the best of Task Rabbit and Seamless to reimagine on demand delivery, or zTailors which marries the best of the Uber model and my to extend the possibilities of bespoke tailoring, the sharing economy holds no limits on who can become an artist of business and a successful entrepreneur.

By following just a few quick guidelines, anyone with a unique passion that has scale, can share it with the world in ways that create new innovations and pockets of profitability.

1) Create a clear and unique story.

In today’s environment storytelling must become a business competency. Develop a concept and transform it into a story that immerses consumers in the idea. For example, Whistlepig is not just a whiskey, it’s the dream of two guys who moved to Vermont to fulfill their destiny of making bespoke spirits in a way that helped launch a renaissance for dark liquor. Clearly the brand is far more than a beverage.

Sharing Economy & Storytelling

Photo Credit: Pexels

2) Combine your passion + the power of we

Develop an idea that seeks to follow the winning formula of passion + the power of we. Postmates would not be nearly as successful as it is of it didn’t have a legion of businesses participating, and “Postmates” signed up to make the on demand deliveries they imagined a reality.

3) Small is the new Big

Remember that in today’s environment small is the new big. Success today is predicated on the idea of not being all things to all people, but rather finding one thing, and doing that one thing better than anyone else. For example Airbnb is a lodging company only. It has bridged over to media to help deepen and expand the experiences they offer, but they have not extended into travel transportation or travel booking agent in an attempt to create new profit centers. Keep your focus niche to survive and thrive.

Sharing Economy Tips

4) Act global but think local

In today’s environment the flip side of the original act local think global mantra is true. Today, if you have a winning idea, the democratizing power of technology can easily catapult your business globally. However, remembering that local communities both online and off are the spark for growing any business is critical. Most successful sharing economy businesses such as Uber, TaskRabbit and Neighborgoods started in target cities to perfect their offerings before becoming global powerhouses. Hone your idea, customize it in ways that can be scalable on a local level, and then view the entire globe as your canvas of creation!

Sharing Economy

In the world of the sharing economy the most critical point is that if we remember that today’s innovations are powered by the we and not the me, there is nothing that we cannot imagine and create together.

Billee Howard is Founder + Chief Engagement Officer of Brandthropologie, a cutting edge communications consulting firm specializing in helping organizations and individuals to produce innovative, creative and passionate dialogues with target communities, consumers and employees, while blazing a trail toward new models of artful, responsible, and sustainable business success. Billee is a veteran communications executive in brand development, trend forecasting, strategic media relations, and C-suite executive positioning. She has a book dedicated to the study of the sharing economy called WeCommerce due out in Fall 2015 as well as a blog entitled the #HouseofWe dedicated to curating the trends driving our economy forward. You can read more about “WE-Commerce: How to Create, Collaborate, and Succeed in the Sharing Economy” right here!