Stephen Saideman – Trump Brand Management: Too Early for Schadenfreude?

This post was originally published on April 4th, 2016 on Saideman’s Semi-Spew:

Last night, I read a series of tweets

and it made me ponder something.

If Trump is mostly a brand, rather than doing stuff, then what is this campaign doing to his brand? Hint: I think his ego has taken over the process, so that it is going to hurt his brand.

Sure, one could look at this run and say how successful he is at promoting himself, so Trump as a brand is peachy. On the other hand, Trump’s campaign has been identified as: misogynist, racist, xenophobic, haphazard, poorly planned, inciting violence, and more. So, what does that do to the brand? Having extremely high unfavorables probably is not offset by having the fervent support of white supremacists.

After his run ends, how will Trump sell himself? Who will want to buy Trump stuff once it is covered in loser-sauce? What will he stand for, other than losing, hate, ignorance and incompetence? Who will buy that?

So, I guess what I am saying is that there will be some schadenfreude at the end of 2016. It will not offset the damage that Trump is doing to people (inciting violence), to the country (giving voice to the haters, making them feel like they are more than a narrow band of the left behind), and to the world (by giving ISIS stuff to use in their propaganda). But it will make us feel a bit better when few, besides the xenophobes, will be lining up to buy Trump crap.

Stephen Saideman: A Fellow and the Canadian Global Affairs Institute, and the Paterson Chair in International Affairs at Carleton University’s Norman Paterson School of International Affairs.

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