For more than 10 years, BAV Consulting has kept an eye on the Donald Trump brand, documenting its peaks and valleys in consumer opinion. But as Politico reports, the Donald's hold on the luxury goods market—which has helped amass him a portfolio that Bloomberg has estimated is worth $3 billion—has suffered since he's embarked on his presidential campaign, with those who can afford those products and services turning away in increasing numbers. In a December BAV survey, the "value of the Trump name is collapsing," as Politico frames it, in categories such as "upper class," "prestigious" and "glamorous." And even if he's willing to give up his standing in the luxury world for a shot at the White House, there's more bad news: Those same high-income consumers (making at least $100,000 per year) aren't as willing to assign the terms "leader," "dynamic," or "innovative"—ostensibly presidential descriptors—to him either.
And those in the $150K-plus bracket are turning their noses up at him the most: Trump's reputation for being "obliging" and "upper class" has plummeted 50% since he became a candidate. As Politico explains, a brand's cred usually falls after a negative major event, like a scandal or a recall. But when it comes to the Trouble With Trump, his personality has played a major part. And that one "major event" has been supplanted by a series of smaller ones that, taken together, may be erasing his brand's impact in the coveted demographic: After his statements last summer about Mexican immigrants, for example, Politico notes he experienced the "first visible signs of the commercial cost," with his name ripped off of buildings and out of marketing deals. In the words of his own son, Donald Jr., in 2014, before Sr. said he was running: "He will question … things in a way that you don't see anyone doing today. … There could be potentially ramifications to his business for taking these stances." (Read more Donald Trump stories.)