Written by: Jacqui Maddock
Team Trump has owned the global spotlight for two years. Early on, Trump proved himself a master of social media, particularly Twitter. He effortlessly leveraged his bizarre insults on the platform into earned media. MediaQuant estimates that Mr Trump earned $US2 billion in free media in August alone.
His divisive politics aside, the commercial opportunities from that level of fame are considerable.
Just ask Ivanka Trump. She may well be the biggest winner of the entire 2016 election.
The 35 year-old boasts an enviable Instagram following of 1.3 million people. It’s a handy platform for the model-turned-entrepreneur to hawk her fashion apparel and accessory line. And her upcoming book. And her family companies’ latest hotels. And so on and so forth.
Brand experts and retail analysts agree: having one’s father run for President is very very good for business.
Ivanka’s visibility on the campaign trail has had a tangible impact on her businesses’ bottom line. Immaculate appearances (sporting her own collection, of course), in front of a global audience at the Republican national convention and at the three Presidential debates has doubled as some of the most effective free marketing around.
Between April and October, search engine traffic to her website surged 330%.
The now famous cream dress Ivanka wore to introduce her father at the Republican convention sold out instantly, right across the world. Fast Company reports that first half net sales of the clothing line alone soared $US11.8 million in 2016.
She’s managed to win the brand battle, and to somehow also emerge as an elegant, articulate and on-message businesswoman. The perfect antidote to her inflammatory father.
“There’s a tremendous amount of pressure in having your family member run for the highest elected office in the country, arguably the world," she acknowledged in a recent interview.
"But visibility to create change and positive change for this country, if [Donald Trump is] elected, is worth any of the other personal challenges that come with the presidential campaign."
Of course, supporting the most controversial presidential candidate in living memory is not without risks to the brand.
When those damaging audio tapes emerged of Donald Trump describing his predatory behavior towards women, Ivanka was left red faced. Now Ivanka continues to walk the difficult line of respect and support for her father without aligning herself to his outrageous statements
For team Trump, the commercial upside to the election – even a loss , is considerable.
Ivanka Trump may have built her brand off the back of her father’s success but regardless of the election outcome she seems likely to emerge from the election victorious, with her reputation and brand intact.