The 'O' effect
"I am the Almighty O....."
I can just imagine Ms. Oprah saying that to herself before she steps out on stage before a show. Love her or hate her, you cannot deny the power of The O. She is the Queen Diva of talk TV, and the Queen Diva of marketing. Oprah undeniably has the most recognizable brand ever. It has taken her years to get there, but Home-girl has definitely paid her dues along the way.
I can actually remember the first episode of the Oprah Winfrey show. Although I was pretty young at the time, I remember thinking to myself, "Poor Lady. Donahue is gonna blow her out of the water!". She was an underdog; not necessarily poised to succeed. After all, Oprah did not fit the mold of your average female television host. In those days, women only succeeded if they were tall skinny Blondes with an infectious laugh. Oprah was average height, a little overweight, and she was Black. Not exactly a picture perfect vision for American TV. But much to the dismay of her critics, Ms. O pressed on, and today has a huge empire worth billions of dollars. Not bad for an overweight Black lady with a knack for journalism.
Today Oprah Winfrey not only boasts huge ratings on her 22 year old talk show, but she also has a monthly magazine, a production company, an Oprah book club, and an interactive website with heavy traffic. Oprah is also known for her huge philanthropic activities. She has built an empire that many of us only dream about. However, her activities have also allowed many other growing companies to succeed and enjoy growth. The Oprah empire saw a need to appeal to the common man (or Woman), and place the spotlight on businesses she felt were worthy of praise. Oprah's Favorite Things is not only a boost to her ratings and magazine sales, but also a great advertising marketplace for products and services. Her Favorite Things lists have become so popular that businesses are now planning their strategies a year in advance in an attempt for a mention on the list. Ft. Lauderdale Florida based bakery We Take The Cake is a prime example of a company who has flourished because of Oprah's love for their product. Once a small Florida bakery, the company has now enjoyed national acclaim, and an amazing boost in sales since Oprah mentioned their Key Lime Bundt Cake on Oprah's Favorite Things. Since then, the company has been featured on Food Network, Entrepreneur Magazine, CNNMoney.com, and several other local and national magazines, newspapers, and radio shows.
My fascination with Oprah is her resiliency. This woman has survived against all odds to become a major success. Oprah is living proof that hard work and dedication can result in outstanding results. My blog Are We There Yet chronicles the ups and downs we encounter on our journey to a successful life. Oprah has her own Are We There Yet mantra. She calls it 'Living your best life'. The products and services that Oprah features on her show and in her magazine are products that she feels will enhance your life. The website Living Oprah was started by a 35 year old Yoga instructor who was curious as to how Oprah could help her 'Live her best life'. Her blog chronicles her life's activities as she lives, eats, and breathes everything Oprah for one year. I can't wait to see the end result!
Oprah has done wonders for the world of marketing and advertising. She has developed a brand that is so successful that PR and Marketing gurus across the country are now giving classes based on the Oprah brand. As I continue on my journey to improve my life, I can't help but wonder if taking a few tips from The Big O will change my blog headline from Are We There Yet to I'm Finally Got There. Here's to you Ms. O!