Months after Toyota killed off youth brand Scion, the name got picked up again by none other than brilliant businessman and in-no-way-a-failure Donald Trump. He’s using it for his new line of youth-oriented hotels.
Scion cars, as you might recall, were sort of fun and interesting at first, trying to get out of the way of the Toyota name, which had become pretty dull and stodgy in the 2000s. The average age of the Toyota buyer was somewhere between 60 and dead, so Toyota had to do something to bring in new buyers. For a while, it worked.
Annoyingly, Scion quickly faded into focus-grouped boringness, indistinguishable from other cars in Toyota’s lineup. This year, Toyota killed Scion and re-badged all their cars as Toyotas plain and simple. It’s unclear that there was any benefit at all that its cars weren’t just branded as Toyotas from the get go.
Trump’s hotels are getting the Scion brand for kind of similar reasons: his own brand isn’t doing too well at the moment. Here’s what Bloomberg reports:
Scion, a line of hotels that will target younger clients, was unveiled last month in a press release that quoted three different Trump Organization executives, but not the candidate.
Since entering the race last year, Trump has offended groups including Mexicans, Muslims, the disabled and veterans. A video from 2005 that showed him bragging about making lewd advances on women prompted almost a dozen to say he’d harassed them — claims that he strongly denies. Those associations will make corporate clients less likely to book Trump-branded properties, said Bruce Himelstein, a former chief marketing officer for Loews and Ritz-Carlton hotels.
“He’s now a polarizing figure. When he was putting his hotels together, he wasn’t,” said Himelstein, now a consultant. “There’s definitely an impact.”
Trump’s hotels with the name “Trump” on them are getting protested in front of, getting graffiti’d, and they’re dropping prices to keep up bookings. Everything is sort of following the same model with Trump’s Scion as it is for Toyota’s Scion.
I’m sure this will all go great.