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[BRANDING] Oprah’s Midas Touch
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[BRANDING] Oprah’s Midas Touch

December 5th, 2008 · 3 Comments

Oprah Likes It...

Earlier this year I wrote a brief review on Amazon’s new e-reader, the Kindle. Now it appears that just in time for the Holidays the Kindle has received the ultimate gift by being declared one of media mogul Oprah Winfrey’s favorite products.  It is truly remarkable the impact that this declaration can have on a product’s success and acceptance in the market place. I saw a story on CNBC’s new show ‘The Entrepreneurs’ which showed how a similar Oprah endorsement of a new undergarment (Spanx) sent the product to the next level in sales. The Kindle was already picking up some traction, but this won’t hurt a bit.

In Malcom Gladwell’s now ubiquitous book The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference, he speaks to what he calls “The Law of the Few“. This theory discusses how certain types of people can have a unique impact on when a product really has a breakthrough in to mass market success. Oprah would qualify as both a Maven and a Salesperson in Gladwells theory and perhaps one of the greatest of all time in the latter category when it comes to broad appeal. Ms. Winfrey’s career and influence are the result of a carefully crafted (designed) public image and brand. Can you think of any other Mavens or Salespeople that appeal to such a broad audience? What about influencers appealing to more niche audiences? How does one build the clout to command such a position?

Tags: Branding


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3 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Tim // Dec 6, 2008 at 8:42 am

    Good website, I am new to blogging and was looking for examples of good blogs. I like your site and would love any feedback you have to improve my site.

  • 2 Alice Yoo // Dec 6, 2008 at 2:43 pm

    Great questions. I believe it takes time and patience to gain that kind of respect from people. Oprah gives the utmost respect to her most loyal fanbase, moms. In turn, they trust her. How does one build the clout? By being true to themselves but by also listening and understanding your audience enough to know what will help them.

    Other mavens? In marketing, Seth Godin is definitely one that everyone is watching. For younger girls it may be Tyra Banks.

  • 3 DK // Dec 9, 2008 at 8:41 pm

    I agree that respecting your audience is a big component in getting them to respect you in return.

    Another group that crossed my mind as influencers are product reviewers such as David Pogue of the NYTimes and Walt Mossberg of the WSJ. They both influence thousands every time they review a new gadget. That’s a lot of power.

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