This CIM post wonders: is the Trump brand being stretched too far? It’s a solid business brand, but US president . . ?
Donald Trump is normally associated with real estate, but he is most notable for his success in selling himself, making his name synonymous with luxury. His brand has been used to market food, menswear, golf, books, board games, home furnishings and mortgages.
But is politics a stretch too far for brand Trump?
With his campaign, Trump may be a brand stretched too far – offending loyal consumers with a move into a category where the rules are different. As a result of some of his offensive comments on the stump, Trump has already lost an estimated $78.5m in television contracts, plus agreements with Macy’s, the PGA and NASCAR.
There are other lessons that apply to brand stretching; to do it effectively you should look for fit, leverage and opportunity. The old brand should logically fit with the new one, it should help to boost the new product, and there should be the chance for significant sales.
Trump built his brand in the 1980s by projecting the image of a tough, successful and fabulously wealthy man – the personification of the ‘greed is good’ era. His political brand matches his business one, and is a perfect fit for the part of the electorate that associates wealth and success with worth. Little surprise, then, that he has been leading his Republican rivals in the polls. But this vision, of course, doesn’t resonate with many other sections of the electorate.
But even if he does find success – whether in the presidential race or in another political role – Trump will face financial consequences. A common brand-stretching issue is that the new release begins to cannibalise the old, taking attention and sales away from a previously strong product. It happened to 7Up, which lost half of its core drink sales when the diet version went to market. Therefore, a Trump stint in a field as divisive as politics is bound to hurt his brand, and his business.