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Ivanka Trump announced the death of her brand last week.

It was famous (“Thanks, Dad!”), but it wasn’t desired.

It was famous, but it wasn’t very big.

It was famous, yet it only made a tiny flicker in the constellation of much larger, more desired, fashion-brand stars.

Listen to what we had to say to Reuters TV.

Ms. Trump forgot that being famous wasn’t enough. A real brand has to stand for something to consumers – besides being pretty and available.

To exacerbate things, Ivanka, who described her “life’s mission” as “seeking to improve the lives of working women,” wrote a book, “Women Who Work” – how women could achieve personal satisfaction and professional success. Just like Ivanka and her brand. The book ended up being an ill-timed and ill-conceived branding exercise. According to one critic, “It was not really offensive so much as witless!” Another critic thought, “Reading it is like eating scented cotton balls!”

If the book said nothing, Ivanka said nothing about anything related to being First Daughter or Presidential Advisor. Her comments regarding, well, everything was to say, well, nothing. “I would say not to conflate lack of public denouncement with silence. . . Where I disagree with my father, he knows it.” That silence, the lack of standing up for anything, eventually leeched into the brand.

To further aggravate things, she was not only speechless, she was tone deaf.

While 2,000 immigrant minors were separated from families she shared photos with her children, one captioned “on a date night with my daughter.”

She was unable to comment about the White House’s 2nd annual “Made in America” celebration. Ivanka-branded clothes and shoes (along with most Trump-branded products) come from pretty much anyplace that isn’t the USA.

And sure, some of the retailers who dropped her line may have been politically-motivated, but businesses don’t make money-making political decisions, they make money-making business decisions, and consumer purchase attitudes toward the Ivanka brand are significantly down YOY, so retailers weren’t making money for the stores. So the brand got dumped, just like lots of brands. This one was just more famous.

Brands should be more interested in meaning something, saying something, standing for something, than just being famous.

Because the bottom line is, when brands don’t speak to consumers, consumers speak to each other then speak for the brand.

Usually with their wallets!

 


Find out more about what makes customer loyalty happen and how Brand Keys metrics is able to predict future consumer behavior: brandkeys.com. Visit our YouTube channel to learn more about Brand Keys methodology, applications and case studies.

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