Trump to Macy’s: How’s that Hillary Clinton Line Working for You?

Recall that Macy’s dropped Trump’s line of business suits from their stores, and they did this pre-election.

trump-clothingMacy’s management said at the time they didn’t want to have a product that would polarize half the population.

I might have gone for that rationale had Macy’s not backed Hilary Clinton for president.

As the saying goes, “If you tease the bull, you get the horns,” thus a year later, Macy’s will close 68 stores. A better way to view this is 10,000 Americans will lose their jobs.

Post-election, sans Trump branding, Macy’s posted major losses. Coincidence?

As Fox Business explained, the “Trump Factor” is taking branding to new heights.

Brad Thomas, an editor of the Forbes Real Estate Investor and author of “The Trump Factor” said it’s incalculable how much brand equity can now be generated post-election.

“The moat for the business has become much wider, no other brand in the world enjoys such an advantage.”

Thomas says to simplify it, you can compare Trump brand to Henry Ford, who also had very controversial political views.

“More than 110 years after the company’s founding, the Ford brand remains the strongest in the U.S. auto industry, with Henry Ford’s great-grandson at the helm. Like the Ford brand, the Trump brand can live on as an extension of the founder’s dominant and exacting personality. Because of the brand’s emphasis on quality and luxury, the brand narrative has the power to transform itself repeatedly in the years to come,” he added.

Let’s look at the Trump brand.

Geoff Colvin penned in Fortune in Sept of 2016, Mark Cuban Is Right: Donald Trump’s Campaign Is Hurting His Brand

“If @realDonaldTrump loses this election, im betting he personally goes bankrupt w/in 7 yrs. Thats how toxic his brand now is.” So tweeted self-made billionaire Mark Cuban yesterday. And while I take no position on the bankruptcy forecast, Cuban’s point about Trump’s brand is valid and important.

Looks like we won’t get to test Cuban’s theory, since Trump WON! Cuban and many others were convinced that Trump had tarnished his brand.

Salon proposed a doomsday scenario for the Trump brand as well.

laugh at trump-smirking-and-smilingHe may come to regret not having done so, even though he’s probably going to be back to full-time “dealmaking” in about three weeks. We don’t know how much he was worth when he started this campaign but reports are suggesting that it’s a lot less today. The Trump brand has a problem and it’s spreading beyond his consumer goods to his real estate holdings.

Did Trump make the best branding move ever? According to 24/7 Wall Street, he very well may have:

Robert Passikoff, founder and CEO of Brand Keys, said:

Mr. Trump has been one of the most powerful brands we’ve ever tracked. You could add his name to anything from ties to buildings and the increased perceived value of the products fell into the 20% to 37% range. Which was very high, enviable by any category or brand standards, and what a brand is supposed to do. Now, I suppose, he literally qualifies as ‘the most powerful brand in the world’.

Following Trump’s announcement of his candidacy for the presidency, his brand ratings dropped on shirts, ties, suits and watches, but remained the same or improved on TV/entertainment, country/golf clubs and real estate. The release of the Access Hollywood tape in early October, Trump’s brand took something of a beating, but in every category tracked by Brand Keys, the Trump brand returned to earlier levels.

Dumping the Trump brand didn’t scuttle Macy’s ship. However it certainly didn’t help. Imagine having a hometown boy made “president” visiting the store from time to time to say, “Hello.”

Macy’s bet on the wrong horse. But the good news is they won’t have to ship back any Clinton inventory. That could have been a tragic circumstance.

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