Chances are you never heard of Joseph Sugarman. The only reason I know about him is he’s a marketing and copyrighting guy.

And while you might not recognize his name, there’s a good chance that his marketing principle had a hand in one or more of your buying decisions.

The Sugarman Principle

The Sugarman Principle in marketing is very simple. If you have an existing product that’s not the leader then how do you bring attention to your product by comparing it to the leader in a way that give your product as much street cred as the leader?

Suppose you have a camera and you want to take on Nikon or Cannon. Sugarman’s principle would say take out a full-page ad offering $5,000 to anyone who can prove Nikon or Cannon is better than your camera in controlled tests.

Controlled tests being one of the important parts of this exercise.

Here’s Why It Works

No one will probably take the challenge. Certainly, not Nikon or Cannon. And even if they do they would have to be willing to at least admit that your camera is pretty good.

And even if they won the challenge the publicity of the challenge itself just keeps your camera’s name out there even stronger.

And even if you lose the challenge by say 95-91 you’re only out $5 grand and your camera got a ton of additional free publicity.

And the challenge difference might make your cheaper camera more saleable after the challenge.

The Sugarman Principle In Politics

Donald J Trump is hands down the leader in using this marketing principle to win elections and get things done.

“Low energy Jeb,” “Little Marco,” “Crooked Hillary,” are just a couple of examples of giving your competition some press but also giving them a big negative that sticks that they have little defense against.

Fake news, dishonest press, “Rocket Man” have all worked.

“Crumbs” on the other hand failed miserably for Nancy Pelosi in her bid to discredit the Trump tax cuts. Even a spoonful of sugar won’t make that message go down easier.

Some Final Thoughts

As the primaries begin setting the table for the November election the campaign managers are already getting their Sugarman tactics in place.

Now that you understand the principle a little better perhaps you can recognize these hidden messages within the coming campaign ads.

The other guiding directive is that the voting public will seldom take the time to fact check the accuracy of campaign ads.

If you hear it enough without the candidate refuting it, then it must be true. That’s the Sugarman Principle at work.

Don’t give your opponent credibility by challenging untrue statements about you and giving them free press. It’s a principle as old as politics itself.

Be on the lookout for lots of sugar during the 2018 election season. It should be easy to spot. Comments below.