Trump's Kardashian-Like Business Model, Without The Honesty
Never in a million years could I ever imagine writing about Kim Kardashian (pictured) and her sister Kourtney going global; but here I am. - Link
Donald Trump's decision to play the "I may run for President" publicity card and amp it up to 11 this year is doing serious damage to the Trump brand. This is significant to the Trump business interests as the reality is the myth of of Donald Trump, Master Builder, business genius, is a fabrication. Donald Trump has successfully built a licensing business - he licenses the Trump name. In that sense, Trump is a business genius the way Kim Kardashian is - though in fairness to the Kardashians, they did not start out with a family fortune, just some vague celebutante status. Today, the New York Times reports:
“I have made myself very rich,” [Trump said] recently, sitting in his palatial suite at the Trump International Hotel in Las Vegas. “And I would make this country very rich.” But regardless of whether Mr. Trump ultimately seeks the presidency, his attempt to promote himself as a savvy financial manager who can lead America out of its economic rut is bringing new scrutiny to his own business practices.
This scrutiny is revealing that Trump is a flim flam man. More on the flip.
The Times reports:
Mr. Trump, 64, has taken an expansive approach to putting his name on products big and small. There are Trump mattresses, Trump ties, Trump video games, Trump bottled water and Trump chocolates (designed to resemble bars of gold, silver and copper.) But it is Mr. Trump’s real estate and education products that have enticed many Americans to invest life savings and dreams of quick riches. And it is with these products, according to a string of lawsuits and complaints filed around the country, that Mr. Trump has disappointed his fans most deeply.
[. . .] Selling the Name
Even as his empire has expanded into reality television and the clothing aisle, Mr. Trump remains, at least in the public imagination, primarily a real estate developer. But to a remarkable degree over the last five years, Mr. Trump has retreated from that role, becoming, instead, a highly-paid licensor, who leases his five-letter brand name to other developers in Toronto, Honolulu, Dubai and even his own backyard, New York City.
[. . .] “When things got over-inflated in the world,” Mr. Trump’s son Donald Jr., said in an interview, “we removed ourselves from the ground-up development world, where we are risking a lot more. We switched more to a license model,” he said, describing several of the projects, including the Honolulu building, as “big successes.”
(Emphasis supplied.) Trump is a flim flam man who fooled middle America into believing he was a great businessman. And in his own way, he is - a good con man is, at heart, a good businessman. Consider this from the Times article:
John Robbins, 62, a retired lieutenant colonel in the United States Army who is among those suing Mr. Trump[. . .] The most important amenity of all, though, was the name on the side of the building. “With the Trump name,” Mr. Robbins said of his $756,000 unit, “we thought it would be a quality building and address.”
The marketing materials left little doubt that Mr. Trump was a driving force behind the 52-story tower: “We are developing a signature landmark property,” Mr. Trump declared in a news release unveiling it, which described him as a partner. In a marketing video, Mr. Trump called it “my first project on the Gulf of Mexico,” and even showed up to mingle with potential buyers at a lavish, catered event. “I love to build buildings,” Mr. Robbins recalled Mr. Trump telling the audience.
A confidential agreement, later made public in court filings, told a different story: Mr. Trump was not one of the developers or builders. For $4 million, plus a share of any profits, he had licensed his name. As for the mingling with buyers? He was required to do it, up to two times, in the agreement, which spelled out that the appearances last “for no more than six (6) working hours each.” According to the document, the very existence of the license agreement was to be kept confidential. And it remained that way, buyers said, long after they bought their units. “If at any point I had known this, I would have walked away,” said Mr. Robbins, who put down a deposit of about $150,000 — half of which, under Florida law, the developer could use for construction costs.
That is the Donald Trump business model. Maybe Kim Kardashian inspired him. But, to be fair to Ms. Kardashian, she does not appear to be engaging in a wholesale scheme of deception.
Speaking for me only.
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