In November 2009, Oprah Winfrey announced that after 25 years she would be leaving the Oprah Winfrey Show behind on September 9, 2011. At the time, I wrote a blog post wondering who Oprah’s successor would be. I wrote:
Who can fill Oprah’s shoes? Who can step up to the plate and build a similar brand position? Let’s face it. Oprah Winfrey’s power and influence transcended the afternoon talk show circuit. She became a global influencer of everything from the beef industry to publishing, entertainment, and many areas in between.
There are just 11 months left until the Oprah Winfrey Show closes its doors, which would lead one to think there are only 11 months left for businesses, entertainers and individuals to benefit from the Oprah Effect — the guaranteed brand awareness and buzz that comes from an appearance on the Oprah Winfrey Show or even a simple mention by Oprah herself. Thousands of brands, companies, and people have witnessed the Oprah Effect in action with little-known writers turning into best-selling authors and small entrepreneurs watching their businesses grow beyond their wildest dreams after a single mention by Oprah.
So who will take Oprah Winfrey’s shoes in September 2011? Will there be another person capable of providing publicity, word-of-mouth marketing, and brand-building comparable to the Oprah Effect?
It’s an interesting concept to consider. When Oprah speaks on her talk show, there is a large segment of the consumer population that listens, and many of those people are the primary purchase decision-makers for their homes. Who will that audience turn to in Oprah Winfrey’s absence? And how can your business and brand get on that influencer’s radar screen?
What do you think? Is there another influencer that captures the same audience and has a similar effect on that audience’s perceptions? Has there been another person in history with the same type of reach and influence as Oprah Winfrey has garnered over the past 25 years?
Furthermore, the Oprah Winfrey brand itself is extremely powerful. It’s interesting to hypothesize about what’s next for the Oprah brand just as much as it is to wonder who the next big influencer will be. Leave a comment and share your thoughts on the Oprah Effect and successors to the Oprah Winfrey brand.
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