The Value of the Trump Brand

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In his Trump University Blog, the great Donald Trump says, “I know that the ‘Trump’ name is a powerful one. Nearly every day I’m approached by one company or another wanting me to put that name on some product or service. They know that with the Trump stamp of approval comes immediate recognition and an expectation of quality and success.”

Donald Trump has always appealed to a specific type of real estate consumer, one that enjoys the best luxuries that life has to offer. However, many of these consumers are not very active in the current market and might not return until the economy has fully stabilized. And though he has worked hard to only have his name associated with the highest caliber of buildings and fine products, some Trump properties in South Florida are seem to be succumbing to the economic hardships of 2009.

After fighting to keep control of his failing casinos, the developers of Trump International Hotel and Tower in Fort Lauderdale are now facing a federal class action suit claiming buyers of the South Florida condos have been misled about buying into the Trump brand. The suit seeks a refund of the deposits to buyers who had expected to move into the units by now. Also, a separate false advertising lawsuit has been filed on behalf of 55 buyers that had been told they were purchasing property with the prestigious Trump name.

The Real Deal reported that this Fort Lauderdale property is still sitting empty and incomplete on the A1A. Recently prospective homeowners who have put down security deposits received notice stating that if at least half of the buyers don’t close on their units soon, the hotel won’t open. If owners can’t move in, then the building risks losing the elite Trump stamp of approval because of a default of the licensing insignia.

Jack Studnicky, a vice president of sales at International Sales Group, an Aventura-based luxury broker that handles Trump properties, told The Real Deal, “If we did lower the prices, we could make more sales. But we can’t destroy the integrity of the brand by lowering the pricing. The Trump name has suffered in the U.S. media, but the brand is just as strong as ever internationally. The easiest sales I’ve ever made were Trump brands.”

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