Why a Trump Product Endorsement Is Likely to Damage a Brand

Many consumers are less likely to use a product if the president endorsed it, new research shows. Here's what investors need to know during the Trump era.

Why a Trump Product Endorsement Is Likely to Damage a Brand Photo by Christopher Halloran / Shutterstock.com

Pundits have been pondering possibly unfair advantages — and ethical and legal implications — stemming from President Donald Trump’s product endorsements since before his election. But now that he’s president, it turns out products might fare better without his approval.

NBC’s “Meet the Press” host Chuck Todd reported on the Sunday show that nearly half of consumers — 49 percent — would be less likely to use a product if it were endorsed by the president.

Todd explained:

“When he won the White House, some critics worried Donald Trump would use his new office to pick winners and losers by endorsing products. So we asked, ‘How would a Trump endorsement play with consumers?’ Well, according to our partners at Simmons Research, 18 percent of Americans would be more likely to use a product if it was endorsed by President Trump.”

A full 71 percent of Democrats would be less likely to use a product endorsed by the president, with just 10 percent saying they would be more likely to purchase such goods.

Todd also said the responses from Republicans were surprising, with 23 percent being less likely to use a product if it were endorsed by the president. Only 31 percent would be more likely to use it.

Steven Millman, chief scientist at Simmons Research, tells NBC:

“A strong association between Trump and a brand is likely to be damaging to the brand, unless its consumers are strong conservative.”

How to invest in the Trump era

Trump’s influence on business — whether for the better or the worse — is hardly limited to consumer opinions on product endorsements. It seemingly pervades financial markets — a reality all investors would be wise to note.

As we reported earlier this year, Trump’s influence led Trigger Finance to add what the company calls a “Trump Trigger” to its investing app. This feature notifies app users when the president tweets about a publicly traded stock they own.

Rachel Mayer, co-founder and chief executive of Trigger Finance, said at the time that app users had been voicing “overwhelming” demand for a Trump tweet notification since the election.

Mayer went on to explain, “When he tweets, the market moves. Our users see this as an investment opportunity and a way for them to manage their portfolio risk.”

For more investing insight, check out “Where to Invest in the Trump Era.” As the article explains:

“Whatever you may think about the [new administration’s] changes, it’s a good time to assess the investment risks and opportunities — which sectors are likely to surge, and which might flounder — under the Trump administration.”

Has the new administration affected your choices as a consumer or investor? Let us know why in a comment below or on our Facebook page.

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