As this year’s presidential election morphs into a glorious dumpster fire in its final weeks, one of its hardest-hit casualties has been the thing that spurred it on from the beginning: the Trump name, and, by extension, the Trump brand.
Since Donald J. Trump made his way to the forefront of the GOP, several news sources have reported his brand’s decline in business. The popular mobile app FourSquare found that although foot traffic by Trump brand hotels had been fairly consistent for years, it has been in decline in many of its locations across the nation since 2015. The double-digit drop in traffic, according to the FourSquare report, has been most prevalent among the app’s female users.
From FourSquare, as well as a Fortune article which centers on the Trump brand’s decline in popularity among its more affluent consumers, it comes as no surprise that the company would move in a new direction for their new line of hotels.
Earlier this week, the Trump Hotels issued a press release in which they announced a rebranding of its new hotel chain, which will be known as “Scion.” The name is meant to be a “multi-faceted lifestyle brand developed in response to the boom in social clubs and the “we” economy,” the press release stated.
In my opinion, this shows that the head honchos over at the Trump Corporation are looking ahead past the election, and that the best decision they can make is to distance themselves from the political melee that has ensued over the past year and a half. Even though they stand by Donald Trump, it makes sense that they would be gearing up to turn a new leaf come November 9.
What all of this shows is the impact that social media can have on issues much larger than any individual’s cat post or Facebook rant. Who would have thought twenty years ago that an app like FourSquare, which exists for the purpose of allowing people to see where their friends are, would contribute to the national commentary of one of the most – if not the – most controversial American presidential election of all time?
The main takeaway is that we are entering into uncharted territory as a nation. The internet is ubiquitously influencing everything we do, and it’s up to us to determine which influences to allow. In the case of Scion, how long will it be before people who once denounced Trump’s misogynistic rhetoric book a room? When will the moral lines in the sand that people draw now going to move as we move past this election cycle? What effects will this election have on businesses, politics, and the way their publics interact with them? Only time (and social media) will tell.