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The New York Times had an interesting piece on the man who has been named in a new survey as one of the most trusted fashion names in America – Donald J. Trump.

That’s right. Trump.

The reason for the recognition is a line of Trump suits, all retailing for around $500 in stores like Macy’s, that has proven to be enormously popular. Trump himself prefers $5,000 Brioni suits, but there seems to be a desire on the part of the populace to mimic the real estate mogul who has found new fame and fortune on television’s “The Apprentice.”

Trump’s name apparently fell into the category of ‘Human Brands’ – that is, names that actually transcended the product because people associated certain values with the person behind the product. This is, of course, somewhat misleading, since not only does Trump not usually wear the suits, but he also doesn’t design them, sew them or sell them.

Robert Passikoff, the president of Brand Keys, which conducted the survey, tells the Times that part of making that connection is creating a level of brand specificity. “You ask someone what Mercedes means, they say, 'Luxury.' You say BMW, and they go, 'Engineering.' Toyota? 'Reliability.' You say Pontiac and they go, 'Uh.'" He paused. "The 'uh' is the sound of a dying brand."
KC's View:
You don’t have to be either Donald Trump or a fashion plate to recognize the sound of “uh.” The sad truth is that there are a lot of retailers that have not achieved any sort of brand specificity, have not defined for themselves or their customers any sort of transcendent connection.