You can say a lot of negative things about Donald J. Trump, but he can never be accused of not being a business opportunist. As this election cycle painfully swirls to a close, Trump has cleverly set himself up for his next income stream, whether he’s in the White House or not.
Take a step back for just a moment and consider this: You’re sitting in a strategic planning meeting with a brand whose popularity is on the decline. Revenues have been slowly sinking, consumers have been losing interest in your products and services, and the brand is considered old-fashioned or stale. As a marketer, what do you suggest?
Revamp the brand with fresh new messaging and content? Create new brand extensions that might appeal to a new audience? Abandon products or services that are no longer making a positive contribution to the business? Generate brand buzz with timely and relevant offers? Cement brand loyalty by listening to your loyalists, and then tapping into their hearts and minds by giving them what they’re asking for? Yes, yes, yes, yes and yes!
Now consider this:
In the late 1980’s, Trump toyed with a presidential run while he struggled with the financial debt of his purchase of the Taj Mahal casino and the bankruptcy of the Trump Plaza Hotel.
In 2000, Trump announced his candidacy as a Reform Party candidate. He was in financial struggles again after:
- “Trump: The Game” had been discontinued
- Trump Airlines had failed to turn a profit
- Bought, sold, bought and sold the New Jersey Generals
- Trump Hotels and Casinos Resort filed for bankruptcy – twice
- Trump Mortgage fails
In March 2009, Trump joins Twitter but doesn’t tweet anything significant for 2-years.
In January 2011, Trump tweets a link to his fan-made website shouldtrumprun.com – and leverages feedback to craft his new brand message.
In March 2011, Trump is a leading presidential contender.
In May 2011, Trump announces he will not run. During the remaining months of 2011:
- Trump Vodka fails
- Trump Steaks fails
- Trump Ice fails
- Trump University fails