Boycotting the Trump name: Does the popular vote still have influence after all?

Mara Vinnik, Contributing Writer

Donald Trump’s brand name has been flying off shelves as days turn into weeks of our newest president’s term. In reaction to controversy such as the recent travel ban, companies have been encouraged to stop selling the Trump brand by several campaigns, the most popular campaign being #Grabyourwallet.

The list of companies boycotting the Trump name has been growing steadily since the new president was inaugurated. Companies looking to disassociate from the Trump name include numerous national sports teams that have decided to no longer stay in Trump hotels, the sports channel ESPN moving their celebrity Golf Classic to another golf course, the website no longer selling Ivanka Trump’s shoes, and most recently, department store Nordstrom dropping Ivanka Trump’s brand.

In reaction to the Nordstrom “Trump ban,” the president called the company out as “unfair” on social media. Despite their controversial decision, Nordstrom’s stock saw its biggest one-day gain in two months after having severed its ties to the Trump name. Nordstrom data showed that Ivanka Trump footwear and apparel sales were 70 percent lower in October 2016 than they were in October 2015.

Brand Keys, a marketing research firm, found that before Trump’s candidacy was announced, the added value of the Trump name was 25 percent. Throughout the presidential race, the added value was down to 8 percent. After winning the presidential election, however, the added value of the Trump name is up to 35 percent. This increase in brand value makes the name more powerful than ever before, and seemingly impervious to boycotts. Brand Keys President and Founder Robert Passikoff does predict that the boycotting of the Trump brand will do little to impact the participating retailers. While the value of his name may be rising, his approval has surely plummeted; the new president currently only has a 41 percent approval rating.

Opposition toward Trump on the part of big business provides those of us who disapprove of the president with hope, because companies dropping the Trump brand are engaging in public resistance. Despite the election results, this boycott suggests that the popular vote and opinion do still have power in this country. The growing number of public figures and names speaking out against Trump helps to give a voice to the part of the country that feels misrepresented by the president. Perhaps through popular opinion, Americans will be able to utilize their newly ignited drive to shape this presidential term more to their liking.

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