A year or so ago, Ivanka Trump’s last name was associated with luxury. Now it’s about racism, misogyny, and white-supremacist inundates. Hey–nobody induced her play along.”>
There was a certain pathos to Ivanka Trumps appearance atFortuneMagazines Most Powerful Women summit this week. She waxed defensive, then dismayed, at her fathers crude talking here groping women. She lamented that the vicious media, which for decades served her parent so well, somehow merely doesnt get the real him. She insisted she doesnt weigh in on strategy or policy, except for that maternity plan she pitchedthen made a commercial about. She brooded that somehow, people have gotten the crazy idea that she is a campaign surrogate( aWednesdaytext message to Trump advocates begins, Hi, its Ivanka ). And she raised the curtain on whats sure to be a concern at the next Trump family gathering: the runaway dumpster fire thats burning the Trump brand to cinders.
I assured on the front covering of The New York Times a narrative talking about how the Trump brand was being decimated due to the campaign, she said at the Fortune forum. Our team had statistics as it relates to our hotel company, for example, indicating traffic patterns and actual analytics and data. They insisted on using quotes from random people. I have no idea where they called.
They could have called FortuneMagazine itself. Or Bloomberg, whichare among the financial media companies whose analysis indicate the Trump brand is in trouble, if not in ruins. From what we know of hisfinances, after going belly-up in the mid-1 990 s, Trump changed from real estate developing as a core business, to marketing. The product he decided to sell? Donald Trump. And he set about affixing his surname to everything from hotels to golf courses to board games.
Trump markets Trump-themed products to three kinds of people: the affluent who can afford to purchase condos or stay in luxury hotels with his name on them; businesses and organizations who rent out his golf course, hotel venues, or Mar-a-Lago for events; and aspirational everymen who want to feel richer by swigging some Trump water or wearing a Mexican-made Trump suit.
The first group, according to the polls, cant stand Trump, whose run for chairperson has rebranded him from reality-show bon vivant to racist, woman-groping business failing and taxation cheat.
The second group risks boycott and protests if they associate with him.
The third cant generally affords the inflated room rates at properties that are typically located in blue states with few Trump voters. And the broader marketing audience for Trump products includes the people he has to turn with his abominable campaign: women, Hispanics, African Americans, Muslims, and college-educated white suburbanites.
A peek at a 2008 contract proposal from the Trump Organization, obtained from a source close to the enterprise, reveals how the Trump family trades on the perceived value of the name.
The proposal from Eric Trump to an overseas luxury-property developer, stipulates that Trump Organization licensing bargains contained three basic elements. The first is the initial fee, in the millions of dollars, upon execution of the contract. The second is a percentage of the gross sales price for each saleable real-estate unit sold( including all parking space, commercial units, and other features of the building that will be sold ). The third is an additional incentive fee that amounts to a premium paid to the Trump Organization for every dollar above the base sales price that the housing units sell for, in increments of $1,000. The higher the premium the developer charges over the basic price due to the Trump name, the highest percentages per incentive fee thats attached.
[ T] he Trump name is critical to obtaining a premium over market prices, Eric Trump tells the prospective partner , noting that the premiums due to the Trump Organization vary as prices escalatefor instance, a 20 percentage fee from $1,000 – $1,100 per square foot will escalate to a 30 percent payment from $1,100 – $1,200 per square foot, etc .); once again, the exact% is subject to negotiation.
Its tough to see what kind of premium the Trump Organization could charge today, or even whether developers will seek bargains to slap the Trump name on the side of their buildings.
For Ivanka, the damage could be twofold: both reducing her income from the Trump Organization, where she is an executive, and spreading the damage to her own brand.
The former model and fathers favoritesometimes in the creepiest possible stylehas spent years constructing her side business based on an appeal to youngworking women.
Ivankas website dispenses tips on work-life balance. Her attire, shoes, and handbags, manufactured in China and Vietnam , are available for sale on her site, as well as at Nordstrom, Amazon, and other online retailers. The line reportedly did $100 million in business last year.
But that business, like her fathers, is based on Ivankas last name. She hasnt developed a first-name-only brand, like Madonna or Beyonc. Her surname is how she makes a living, and how her brothers and their parent do, too. So the iceberg sinking the Trump campaign stands to cost her and their own families money.