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brand trumps reason

August 2, 2009

Sometimes we all need a sip of our own koolaid.

Last weekend I was out bobbing on the waves with a friend who works in construction. He’s spent the past year putting the finishing touches on the Trump International Hotel in Waikiki. As is common with many Waikiki “hotels”, some of the units have been sold to private individuals, condo-style. According to the authorities, all available units were sold out by the early afternoon of the day they hit the market.

But now, some of these future owners are up in arms and filing lawsuits over the possibility that they may not be getting full value for their investment. Are they complaining about the quality of the units, or the building materials? No, they are pissed because the developer may not get final clearance to use the Trump name on the building.

I mentioned this story to my construction worker surf pal, and he said he understood how they felt. It would be like buying a Mercedes Benz without the logo. So there you go. Brand is by no means rational. But it certainly is real – especially when it’s convinced you to drop 1.5 million on a condo.

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