efore becoming a politician or the president of the USA, Trump tried to follow in the footsteps of his father to become a successful businessman. However, all of the products and ventures that he has designed have been failures. The business ventures which actually made him money were either the ones inherited from his father or the ones he acquired through purchase. Trump’s Ice Water is known as the worst marketing as well as business failure in this world.
You may think that it is just his face on the label that makes the label so bad, but no, it’s overall a terrible design. If you were to give me this I would seriously assume that a 10-year-old has designed this label.
The combination of colors, the font, and the overall design are contradictory.
I am not here to discuss Trump as a politician (so please do not get the wrong idea); I am here to comment on how bad Trump can be as a businessman.
Going back in time, marketing was much simpler than it is now. This product was introduced to the American market in 1995 and it primarily tried to promote not the mountain spring waters of America, but Donald Trump. Many are not aware of the brand because this product was mostly sold in selected markets and initially sold at Trump-owned casinos around America.
Trump wanted the water and his face everywhere and had no shame in promoting it on everything. It was featured in the first season of The Apprentice. I have read many interviews from the 90s that Trump has given about his water brand and to sum up, the story he states is that his “wide” experience as a businessman and as a “marketer” made him see a need for a premium type of bottled water.
I am sorry, but I need to stop here for a second — a premium type of water? It’s water in a cheap plastic bottle, and you dare call it premium?
As a marketer myself, I do not see any sort of special factors within the design of the product nor the product itself that would make it premium. Knowing Trump, I would not be surprised if the water was just water from the tap at a premium price (a true capitalist to say the least).
I have also researched to see people’s comments on the actual taste and quality of the water and to be as unbiased as possible the best average of what I have found was something akin to dirty gym socks. So, in other words, just like I have mentioned before — water from the tap.
Not to any surprise, Trump actually had a contract with Mountain Spring Waters of America for the first three years of production. However, Trump failed to pay Mountain Spring Waters of America for the production of said water with the company suing the Trump organization and reaching an out-of-court settlement.
In 2003, Trump tried to get his image and water back on the market by advertising it with a new label that, thank God, does look a bit more decent than the first one.
What was the attempt of the second marketing campaign, you may ask?
Well, nothing — just more personal promotion, with nothing to do with the actual process of promoting/selling or growing a successful water brand. I like to call this is the wrong way of personal branding.
Yes, Trump, we all know that you like to be the center of attention, but most likely, no one would have bought your water, as it only told your story and not the story of the product. Even in the early 2000s, a successful upcoming product to disrupt the market had to tell a story:
- Why is this product so good?
- Why should I purchase this product?
- What makes this product so special compared to the rest of the market?
I mean don’t get me wrong — celebrity endorsement usually works quite well, but not when you try to endorse yourself, especially when you have no clue about marketing or business whatsoever.
It is as if Trump just wanted to make a marketing campaign about himself while trying to make some money. At the same time, we do have to take into consideration that water is quite difficult to market — based on the concentrated market, however, this is the wrong type of creativity.