BrainTrust Query: What Oprah Can Teach Us About Loyalty
Through a special arrangement, presented
here for discussion is a summary of a current article from the Loyalty 360
On May 25, after more than 4,500 episodes (each of which drew about 12 million
viewers in the U.S. at its peak) and some 30,000 guests, The Oprah Winfrey
Show came to an end. During its run, Ms. Winfrey launched a magazine, produced
movies, and basically single-handedly catapulted several of her go-to people
to instant fame such as Dr. Phil, Dr. Oz and Rachael Ray.
If Oprah recommended
a book, it became a best-seller. Her favorite things became her fans’ favorite
things. They write tribute songs and create Facebook pages in her honor. Harpo
Studio reports that 1.4 million requests for tickets were submitted this season
“I’m hard-pressed to think of a stronger brand than Oprah, and I’ve
studied 200 years of brands,” said Harvard Business School professor Nancy
F. Koehn in a recent Bloomberg BusinessWeek article.
The fan loyalty Oprah has
cultivated over the years is a best-practice example marketers and academics
alike are apt to explore for years to come. Her overriding message of self-love,
self-exploration, and determination has certainly resonated with millions of
people worldwide. But it’s not just
that her message struck a chord with her audience, it’s also the
engaging way she inspires them by honestly revealing her own experiences —
both the good and the not-so-good — in a way that’s upbeat and hopeful. She
was “transparent” well
before social media sent the concept to center stage.
I suggest that brands
look at Oprah’s transparency and see how they
can best build this level of honesty and intimacy into their marketing and communications
efforts. Your customers need to be able to see who you really are and what
your brand is all about. This authenticity will translate as both honesty and
integrity to your customers, engage them in your brand, and earn their loyalty.
Oprah Can Teach Us About Loyalty – Loyalty 360
- Brand Oprah Has Some Marketing Lessons – Bloomberg BusinessWeek
Discussion Questions: How applicable is Oprah Winfrey’s success to the practice of brand building and driving customer loyalty? What does her success say about connecting with consumers today?