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A Hell Of A Way To Build The Trump Brand

Donald Trump claims to be worth in the neighborhood of $10 billion. Much of that is in the value of his brand. Everyone knows Trump and associates it with luxury–the best, goes the argument. But brands derive their value from revenue and profits.

Apple’s stock value is slightly lower than what it was a year ago. Today, Apple announces the iPhone 7, and the market is not impressed–Apple stock is down slightly. It’s logical that Apple’s brand value cannot increase if Apple doesn’t sell more i-Stuff. And it’s logical that the Trump brand cannot increase if his properties are suffering.

Trump’s properties are suffering badly, according to the Boston Globe.

“I’m quite sure that the campaign will negatively impact the new Trump Hotel, as it has the entire portfolio,” said Jack Ezon, president of Ovation Vacations. “I know from industry insiders that business is down at least 30 percent at their other properties. Our numbers with Trump are consistent with that projection.”

And:

The booking site Hipmunk reported that its reservations for Trump hotels are down nearly 60 percent over this time last year.

People associate the Trump name with his hotels, no matter how nice the places are. And that worries employees who work there–not to mention losing celebrity endorsements.

New York celebrity chef Geoffrey Zakarian and Washington celebrity chef José Andrés both pulled out of deals to open restaurants in the hotel in July 2015 after the hotelier-turned-candidate made disparaging comments about immigrants. Trump filed breach of contract lawsuits against both chefs.

The top hospitality people might reconsider their future, having a Trump property on their resume.

Trump Hotels will be on the syllabus for Swathi Ravichandran’s hospitality management classes this fall at Kent State University. Not only will she talk to students about how the hotel brand relates to the candidate, but also their futures if they decide to work at a Trump hotel.

“It’s something that’s real for them; it’s not just words,” Ravichandran said. “Even if the hotels are rebranded, his name is never going to go away, and I think that’s something for them to think about when they start job hunting. What will it mean for them down the road if there is a Trump hotel on their resume?”

If Trump loses the election, he very well may suffer an enormous loss of brand value. That’s all the more puzzling when people suggest he only ran for the publicity. For someone in a “must win” situation, Trump certainly seems like he doesn’t think he’s got anything to lose.

Just more pieces to the puzzle that point to a deeply flawed, compulsion-driven man.

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