Donald Trump’s upset presidential victory could be a boost for him and his family in another way: the Trump brands, including that of his daughter, Ivanka.
An earlier Brand Keys survey of consumers and their view of the Ivanka Trump brand found it remained favorable among consumers, particularly in the Millennial demographic. In contrast, the Donald Trump brand saw much negative reaction, particularly in the last year due to campaign rhetoric and the release of a videotape capturing him making lewd comments about women.
Robert Passikof, Brand Keys founder and president, said, “Brands — particularly human brands, people who are seen to be the living, breathing embodiments of those set of values they alone are able to so successfully, seamlessly and profitably transfer to products and services — that are then so negatively and publicly exposed the way the video did to Mr. Trump, don’t usually come back as strong as they used to be.…Human brands don’t generally get a second chance to breathe real life back into their brands or rekindle the desire in the hears and souls of consumers.”
But winning a presidential election seems to be the exception that tests the rule, according to the latest national survey by Brand Keys on the Donald Trump brand — conducted overnight following Election Day.
According to 1,203 registered voters in the nine U.S. Census regions, 100 percent of the categories where Brand Keys tracked the Donald Trump brand that had been negatively affected a month ago with the “Access Hollywood” tape disclosure have all rebounded. The survey tracked the added-value to the brand, or how much more a product or service is seen to better meet consumer expectations and is viewed as worth more monetarily with the Trump brand.
For example, in the area of real estate, having the Trump name added a positive 30 percent value perception in April 2015, fell to 22 percent on Oct. 7 with the release of the “Access Hollywood” tape, and is now up to 43 percent following the election. For the same time period, the dress shirts category was at 30 percent in 2015, fell to 18 percent last month, and has rebounded to 28 percent. The suit category was at 25 percent, fell to 15 percent, and now is at 30 percent.
In the case of the Ivanka Trump brand, while the campaign trail has been good for it, the post-election period could be even better.
The NPD Group’s chief industry analyst Marshal Cohen said Trump has the “natural advantage to be able to leverage the brand to a higher level of popularity,” without the negativity that could come from making a not-so-popular decision as commander-in-chief.
Ivanka has been using her hashtag #womenwhowork, and finding a way to link what she’s wearing to where consumers can buy her collection. And while there’s been an ongoing campaign in recent weeks via the hashtag #grabyourwallet that’s been calling for a boycott of the 21 retailers that sell the Ivanka Trump line, Cohen believes that will ease up over time as the country unites and heals from the nasty round of campaign rhetoric.
Neil Saunders, retail analyst at Conlumino USA, said Wednesday, “Obviously, there is a lot more interest for all things having to do with Trump. But in sales terms, I don’t think it’s going to have an enormous effect. I don’t think people make clothing choices based on who is related to whom. They make choices based on what the garments are, the types of brands, the price point.”
Saunders did allow that the Trump presidency “could bring greater interest” to his daughter’s company and “it could be helpful, if they want to expand the brand overseas into other markets.”
He declined to estimate how annual sales might increase. “I wouldn’t put a number on it, because it would be absolutely impossible to predict. It could boost sales quite nicely because of that increased brand exposure. What it won’t do is get people running out to buy the collection because Donald Trump has secured this victory. I don’t think consumption works like that with apparel or any other sector.”
Katie Smith, a retail analyst at Edited, said Wednesday in the past week, 17 global retailers have increased the number of new Ivanka Trump products arriving into store by 24 percent compared to the same seven-day stretch last year. In addition, global sellouts for the Ivanka Trump brand have been up 78 percent in the last week, she said.
During that selling time, there have been fewer discounts applied to the brand than a year ago, but Nordstrom Rack increased its discounting for three Ivanka Trump products Wednesday.
“The global awareness and visibility of the brand will certainly continue to grow. The brand should probably harness that with their own e-commerce site,” Smith said. “However — depending on how the markets react to the election results and how trade agreements are impacted — there could also be a negative backlash with retailers boycotting stocking the label.”