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Lessons from Oprah – The queen of personal branding 

 January 7, 2021

By  Lou Marx

She’s the billionaire media executive who’s been in our homes and hearts for over 40 years, but what makes Oprah’s brand power so long-lasting and successful?  

Her brand is built on integrity. Here’s how:

Voice

If you look at Oprah’s enterprises the metrics speak volumes of commercial success but brands as strong as Oprah’s can’t quantify their reach and value when they stand for more than just numbers.

Oprah uses her voice with intention and purpose to captivate and compel people with her views on religion, poverty, crime, racial issues, human rights, charitable causes, spirituality and so much more.

She’s not afraid to speak, and because of that she’s heard. Her ability to connect followers with people, resources and content that uplifts, inspires, creates change and makes an impact is because she uses her voice to stand for something bigger than herself.

Relatability

From sexual abuse as a child, a pregnancy at 14, and pioneering a career as a black woman in the early 70s – if anyone knows adversity it’s Oprah.

But by sharing these very real and raw trials and tribulations, Oprah has given others a portal to open up. The pain in me, sees the pain in you, and because of that I feel you understand me, like you can relate to me, like we’re in this together.

Vulnerability builds trust. Brands often fall into the trap of trying to be professional and keep up perfect appearances, when really, people just want to deal with people who they can relate to.

Authenticity

Oprah, although famed revered has always remained ‘real’ among her loyal following proving that money and success don’t buy happiness. From yo-yo dieting to bad business deals, Oprah is the first to admit she’s just as flawed as everyone else. And she’s not afraid to talk about it all too often recounting her own struggles with the ego, personal power and finding her place in the world.

In a world that demands perfection, Oprah is comfortable with imperfection.

Adaption

Oprah, like many other brands who have been around for decades has had to adapt over the years. Those who haven’t, have been left behind. Her radio shows have turned to podcasts, TV to digital media, and her voice and content now dominate every major social media network.

Evolution

Just as the platforms on which she broadcasts has evolved so too has Oprah herself, taking audiences along for her personal journey of growth, particularly into the depths of spirituality. Well ahead of today’s mindfulness movement, Oprah has evolved her programs and guests to topics that help people awaken and give a deep sense of purpose and meaning to life.

Lou Marx


Lou Marx is a storyteller at heart.

Her purpose is to create, build, promote and spread messages that connect and awaken.

Lou Marx

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