- The CNBC All-America Economic Survey found 26% of Americans hold a less favorable view of the Trump brand name since the beginning of the presidential race, and only 4% hold a more favorable opinion. 64% reported their view remains the same.
- The decrease in favorability in the Trump brand extends across all demographic groups including gender, age and income, with the drop more precipitous among women at 32% compared to men at 22%.
- One tangible result of this drop is reduced bookings at Trump-branded properties and reduced rates at branded hotels.
Running for president is doing harm to what is ostensibly Donald Trump’s most valuable asset — his brand. Trump’s business model has increasingly become based around simply licensing his name to real estate and other projects rather than investing in or developing those ventures, and he notably self-described the value of his last name at $3 billion.
Given the results of CNBC’s research, that figure could be too high and dropping, with the Trump reputation tarnished by a number of campaign trail developments such as ill-advised tweets and sexual assault accusations against the Republican presidential nominee. Reputation management is something that all marketers should stay on top of, from small annoyances like persistent social media trolling to catastrophic scandals akin to the one surrounding former Subway spokesman Jared Fogle.
Even if Trump had exercised a more careful control of image both on and off the campaign trail, it is not clear if his business would have been able to save face, given the numerous sexual assault accusations that have come to light.
Trump's run for president raises additional questions of whether politics is inherently damaging to businesses, as campaigning inevitably involves broaching divisive issues that are bound to alienate at least some consumers. Regardless of whether Trump wins the White House, it’s possible the damage to his established properties will last long past election season. His company is clearly aware of the brand hit and is already adjusting, dropping the Trump name for its new real estate project and instead calling it Scion, according to Quartz.