Trump's brand sinks with him

A popular conspiracy theory about millionaire presidential candidate Donald Trump is that his campaign is really just a big advertising effort for his "brand": the Trump name he licenses out to anyone who will pay for it. If this was his plan, Alexandra Bruell writes in the Wall Street Journal, it was a bad one. The tape of him boasting about sexually assaulting women hits particularly hard.

As of June 2016, when Mr. Trump was already the presumptive Republican nominee for president, the added value of the Trump brand in entertainment was as high as 43%.

But that added value has been significantly diminished since the video surfaced. The perceived added value in TV and entertainment, a category with which he’s closely associated after “The Apprentice,” fell 13 percentage points as of Oct. 9, while the value of the Trump brand dropped 8 percentage points in real estate and 6 percentage points in country clubs and golf clubs, according to Brand Keys.

“What we know for sure is that these brand engagement numbers correlate very highly with consumer behavior in the marketplace,” said Mr. Passikoff. As the Trump brand becomes more toxic, “consumers will be distancing themselves from Trump-branded products as well.”

Even if his remarks subside in the public imagination, he's in it to the end, and "Trump" could end up signifying bigshot losers. Not great for any business, but bigly so in hospitality and entertainment.

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