Blake Glenn’s Looney thoughts, perspectives, adventures, and insights on the world of business!
— By Blake Glenn
A Brief Rant From the Looney Executive Business Files …
Today is election day – November 8, 2016. And at this most critical time in U.S. history, I have a perspective to share.
First of all this is a sort of stream-of-consciousness post. It’s not filled with facts and fancy statistics and credible references. It’s just my thoughts and opinions on a subject that I’ve found quite fascinating as I’ve watched the presidential race unfold, then drag on. And that is … the Donald Trump brand.
This isn’t about politics. Well ok maybe it is kind of. But it’s not about the presidential race itself. This is about business.
You see my focus is on the happenings in the looney world of business and commerce. And from a business perspective it’s been pretty interesting to watch the effect on Trump’s brand as he has pursued his political ambitions. It’s been a wacky ride indeed.
Frankly I think the Donald Trump brand has eroded significantly in recent years. And it’s due primarily to his foray into the political arena. There are so many things he’s said and done that singularly may not have necessarily created significant long-term damage. But collectively these have gathered into a celestial fireball aimed dead square at his brand and net worth (which still remains a mystery). Here are just a few of Trump’s blunders that have contributed to the Trump brand decline:
- Leading the “birther” movement against President Obama (and continuing way beyond all reason and rationality)
- Insulting his political opponents, media members, and anyone else he felt disagreed with him
- Insulting John MaCain for “getting captured” in Vietnam
- Insulting the parents of a Muslim soldier killed in battle
- Being caught on tape describing creepy, predatory, and illegal behavior toward women
- Not releasing his tax returns as all presidential nominees have done for several election cycles
- Being exposed as a deadbeat by former small business vendors that he failed to pay
- Renewed analysis of the bankruptcies of Trump business entities
- Having his multiple business launches and failures exposed by various publications
- Insulting Latino immigrants
- Insulting a disabled reporter
- Insulting a baby (no – I. Am. Not. Kidding!)
The list seems like a lot doesn’t it? But as I stated, those are just a few of the more notable examples. These behaviors in a private executive suite would be aggregious enough. But in a presidential race where every word, hell every syllable and every letter in a word, is publicly scrutinized, those are brand-killing blunders. His behavior should also have been the death knell of his political campaign. But this is a bizarro year in politics. A year where we all seemingly woke up one day in a world that resembled our own but was off by some fraction, just enough to make us say, “Oh SHIT! Is this real?”.
By the way, failures in business are simply a part of the entrepreneurial lifestyle. Usually that shouldn’t be held against any entrepreneur, including Trump. However, a key part of his brand are the “winner” and “success” stories that he touts. Most of the time he seems to downplay or outright dismiss any talk of his failures.
And one of Trump’s big problems is that while most of the customers of his branded properties and products (hotels, casinos, golf courses, steaks) tend to be high-income individuals, those attracted to his politics tend to come from the middle- and lower-economic stratus that can’t afford his prices. And as reported by Fortune.com and ABC News, there does seem to be a clearly identifiable erosion in his brand among those high-end customers that may last for years to come after this election is over.
Whether Donald Trump wins or loses the presidential election, it looks like he may have already lost his brand value advantage. All of this was avoidable. As far as maintaining his brand value, he shouldn’t have run for president. Any idiot knows that political races today receive more media coverage (print, radio, network TV, cable TV, Internet, Martian laser transmissions) than at any time in history. So why, with all of his baggage and personality flaws, would Donald Trump even run for president?
Well … ego-mania of course. Ego-mania is a condition that can not only be a deal killer. As we’ve witnessed in this presidential election cycle, it can be also be a weapon of mass destruction for valuable brands. Only time will tell how much destruction Trump has caused to his brand and how long, if ever, it will take to make a full recovery.
Blake Glenn shares his looney perspectives, stories, and mis-adventures in The Looney Executive blog. He has interviewed hundreds (or at least tens) of people via The Looney Executive Podcasts and former TV show. He’s the founder of a tech group called IgniteTech, and claims to be a direct descendant of the original Looney Executive – Because there must be SOME explanation … right?
If you dare, I can be reached the old school way … blake@LooneyExecutive.com
P.S. I’m actively recruiting test contestants for my business game show experiment. Interested? Please contact me so I can add you to the player pool!