According to a report from MSNBC's Alex Seitz-Wald, marketing experts are observing Donald Trump's moves in his post-presidency at Mar-a-Lago and noting he is trying to build a new brand by making changes that cast his four years in office in a more positive light since losing re-election.
The former president recently launched a new website called 45Office.com, that leans on his being the 45th president and leaves off his name which is surprising for a businessman who has slapped his name on buildings, wine, steaks and a university that shut down after being dogged with scandal.
Moreover, Trump has deployed "45" for his PAC -- found online at SaveAmerica45.com -- and his old tweets, since his banning from Twitter, are now found under @White House45.
According to marketing experts, the re-branding is likely a shrewd move for a multitude of reasons, chief among them is that the Trump brand suffered huge losses during his four controversial years in office and, by using "45," it implies that he is still president to his followers.
As Seitz-Wald writes, "Like Prince changing his name to a symbol, Trump is defying convention. Former presidents typically use their numbers only as a shibboleth among insiders and friends. The only other president to regularly use Twitter, Barack Obama, has his old tweets archived at @ObamaWhiteHouse."
According to corporate consultant John Boyd, "He was a 'different' type of candidate and president and now he is a 'different' type of former president — one with a global brand to manage (as well as prospects to run again in 2024)."
Then there is the burden that Trump's name has come to mean "loser" in the minds of some people.
Former Trump aide Sam Nunberg, added, "They can never take that number away from him. Just psychologically, when you say President [Jimmy] Carter or you say President George H.W. Bush, you think 'one-term president.' But if you put the number, 45th president, the connection doesn't come that fluidly."
"Official communications from Trump, who refused to concede the 2020 election and falsely led supporters to believe he might overturn its results right up until Inauguration Day, never refer to him as the 'former' president — he is always the '45th President of the United States of America',' the report states. "That's not an accident, said David Johnson, a corporate branding consultant in Atlanta, who added it helps to 'continue his myth that he is still the President of the United States and reinforce that message with his followers'."
According to branding expert David Painter, "The 'Trump' brand was damaged in his election loss and double impeachment. Thus, Trump has adopted '45' (it's even his monogram on his shirts) since it is a neutral number that he would probably rather people associate with him than his actual age or characterizations of his presidential term."
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