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It's not just his campaign: Trump's 'brand' may never be the same

If Trump intends to return to his private-sector empire after the campaign, he should realize the degree to which his campaign has hurt his "brand."
A doorman stands as people walk past the Trump Tower in N.Y. on May 23, 2016. (Photo by Carlo Allegri/Reuters)
A doorman stands as people walk past the Trump Tower in N.Y. on May 23, 2016.
In late June, the day after the "Brexit" vote, Donald Trump hosted a press conference in Scotland, against the backdrop of one of the most important political moments in the modern history of the United Kingdom. As we discussed at the time, the Republican presidential candidate spoke at great length, and in great detail, about ... his new golf resort.Tomorrow, the GOP nominee will do it again, leaving the campaign trail to promote the opening of his new hotel in Washington, D.C. -- a venue Trump has touted on multiple occasions from the campaign stump, blurring the lines between candidate and salesperson.It's a reminder that while Trump almost certainly wants to be president, he also remains committed to his lucrative business enterprise. What he may not fully appreciate, however, is the degree to which one is affecting the other. The New York Times ran an interesting report overnight on some of the many people who suddenly want nothing to do with Trump's "brand."

At three large rental buildings emblazoned with gold letters spelling out T-R-U-M-P P-L-A-C-E on the Upper West Side, the lobby rain mats embossed with the same name are being replaced, tenants say. The new versions, they have been told, will proclaim the buildings' addresses, 140, 160 or 180 Riverside Boulevard.At the same buildings, they say, the doormen and concierges have been measured for new uniforms that will no longer carry the Trump name. And 300 people, most of them tenants, have signed an online petition titled "Dump the TRUMP Name" in less than 10 days.

The article noted that Trump, throughout his career, has boasted that slapping his name on a building increases its value, apparently because consumers are supposed to associate "Trump" with luxury and high quality. But it's not exactly a secret that his presidential campaign has changed public perceptions about the New York Republican, and for many, his name is now more closely associated with misogyny and ethno-nationalism.And as a consequence, the Trump "brand" is not only taking a severe hit; it may never be the same.NBC News reported last week, for example, that the presidential nominee's "actions out on the campaign trail don't seem to be doing much for occupancy rates at his chain of five-star Trump-branded hotels." As consumers avoid anything associated with the candidate, room rates at some Trump hotels have been reduced.By some accounts, Trump's company is now moving forward with plans to build new hotels without his name on them.Complicating matters, the anti-Trump backlash isn't just undermining the candidate's business: Slate reported that the "Ivanka Trump Collection" is facing pushback as well.It's easy to imagine Trump thinking to himself that if he loses the presidential campaign, as is expected, he can simply return to his private-sector ventures. What he may not have anticipated, however, how much damage his candidacy is doing to everything that falls under the Trump umbrella.