"His brand is associated with success and making money. And every time the word bankruptcy appears next to Trump, that's not good," says Allen Adamson, managing director of Landor, a brand consultancy. "He can take a few chinks in the armor, but I think he's probably at the limit."
Were Trump not already woefully past his prime, these problems might hurt him more. But the ratings of The Apprentice have been declining every season since the show debuted, and Trump's appearances at tack events like The Learning Annex have cemented his status as a blowhard. I've noticed a large quantity of his "high-end" cuff links and colognes deeply discounted at stores like TJMaxx.
Donald Trump's days as a marketable brand of luxury are probably over anyway, with or without his latest setbacks. He is most respected by people who know little about business, and the more knowledgeable followers of the financial world mostly dismiss him as a charlatan. But there are enough naive people who are attracted by Trump's grandiosity that he should be able to "earn" millions with his motivational speeches and Trump University programs for years to come.
The latest installment of The Apprentice debuts on March 1st, and it will be interesting to see how the show resonates in a very different economy from the one it began in.