There has been no shortage of hot take speculation about why Donald Trump ran for president in the first place, and most of it assuming it was a business ploy to make the Trump name and brand ubiquitous. This isn’t entirely implausible, given that Trump has always been equal parts showman and businessman. What better way to get media coverage for one’s empire than to position oneself as the guy the press has to cover for a year?
Amidst reports that occupancy rates at Trump Hotels have slipped this election season, the company has announced that new brand hotels will no longer bear the Trump name.
The newest line of luxury hotels, geared towards millennials, will be called Scion, the company said.
“We wanted a name that would be a nod to the Trump family and to the tremendous success it has had with its businesses, including Trump Hotels, while allowing for a clear distinction between our luxury and lifestyle brands,” Trump Hotels CEO Eric Danziger said in a statement.
Although Trump Hotels has said the new name has nothing to do with the eponymous businessman’s presidential campaign, empty rooms at the hotels have caused officials “to reduce rates during the peak season,” according to New York Magazine.
They can say that is has nothing to do with this election all they want, and it may even be true, although that’s doubtful. The public is going to notice the timing and start making inferences pretty quickly. “Any publicity is good publicity” is only applicable in some areas of showbiz. It’s not at all true in any other kind of business.
If Trump has damaged his own brand, it’s probably not enough to do real damage. The biggest post-election hit for him will come when Granny Maojackets starts sneaking her “tax the rich” plans through a weakened Republican presence in Congress.