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Branding America


Nobody will ever say Donald Trump is not a great branding genius.  He easily branded Jeb Bush as “low-energy”, Cruz as “lying-Ted, Rubio as “little Mario”, and Clinton as “crooked Hillary.”

However, the brand he built around himself is worth billions, probably 40% of his net worth.  He makes millions each year from others who use his brand.

There may be something that the ill-fated Trump vodka can teach us.  A businessman with no experience in vodka came to him with the idea of selling upscale vodka.  For a minimum of $2 million plus a huge share of the profits, Trump agreed to loan his name.  As the businessman tried to find a distiller to actually make the drink, Trump focused on the glass bottle design and introducing the marketing campaign.  During the launch party, blondes licked a large chuck of ice encasing a bottle of his vodka.  One topless lady was there wearing only the Trump logo painted on her chest.

After repeated efforts to manufacture the drink economically, the businessman walked away.  Naturally, Trump sued.  It is no longer sold in the U.S. and little is sold abroad.  Not much of a success, indeed!

The irony is that Trump never tasted his own product.  After watching a brother die from alcohol, Trump despises it and never imbibes.  None of his children touch alcohol.  Smart employees are never seen having a drink at parties.  He once admitted the hypocrisy on a radio show, saying somebody else would sell it, if he did not.

Is there anything we can learn from this experience?

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