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Presidential hopeful Donald Trump's bold and often outrageous comments have bolstered his lead in national polls, but the same can't be said about his business.
The billionaire has his fingers in a number of lucrative pies, from luxury golf courses, hotels, beverages, amusement parks, books and public speaking. His real estate empire, The Trump Organization, brought in $9.5 billion in annual revenue last year, according to media reports.
Despite controversial remarks aimed at Mexicans, Muslims and women, Trump secured him 41 percent backing among Republican voters in the latest Monmouth University survey. While Trump's directness may work in the political process, it doesn't support a business, said Mike Jackson, chief marketing officer at brand image firm Event Solutions International.
"In the past, the Trump name has been aspirational but the field of rhetoric that he's driven though this campaign will do irreparable damage to the brand long term," Jackson told CNBC.
"The Trump brand is primarily a licensing brand. If you're in the business of developing apparel, luxury products, golf courses, are you going to hang that name on your property or product?"
Some of Trump's business partners have already distanced themselves from him after he called for a temporary ban on foreign Muslims entering the U.S. earlier this month.
Dubai-based retailer Landmark Group told NBC News that it is freezing sales of Trump Home products in more than 160 stores from Libya to Pakistan. Meanwhile, the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews (R&A), which calls itself golf's governing body, will no longer consider Trump's Turnberry golf club in Ayrshire, Scotland, as a venue for the 2020 Open, according to The Independent.
"Trump has done a terrific job from a presentation point of view of stirring controversy, making himself relevant and helping shape the discussion. But he's done so in such a strident, demagogic or bigoted fashion that it ends up hurting him," said Frank Lavin, former undersecretary for international trade at the U.S. Department of Commerce.
"He's effectively painted himself into a corner with some of his rhetoric."
With more controversial statements expected in the campaign, it's going to be interesting to see what happens to his business after the election process, Jackson said.
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