BrightBox clients are namely organizations looking for brand power so they can market their concepts and find consumers. We find that brands are about much more than that.
You were born to brand. You don’t have a choice. Merely by breathing, moving and knowing other people, you are creating a brand for yourself. Your impact on the world will happen with or without your knowledge.
Those who take great care in controlling their brands create more powerful emotional connections with people and succeed in realizing their dreams.
In other words, your brand is part of your fulfillment.
To better understand, help us assess these five personal brands and the impact they have had on the world.
We start off at the tippy top. Oprah, Queen of America, decides what happens in large, mainstream sections of American culture. The Oprah Winfrey Show’s engaging, pop-culture driven and pop-culture driving qualities have placed it at the heart of the American experience. Oprah has made plenty of powerful sub-brands- Phil Donahue, Rachel Rae, Dr. Phil- and stands as the ultimate endorsement in the business world.
Charitable philanthropist, compassionate leader, professional talk show host… Oprah may have more brand power than anyone in the world.
#2 DONALD TRUMP
Whether Trump’s personal brand is helped or hurt by many of his antics is debatable, but his ability to garner attention is clear. Trump fancies himself a modern PT Barnum. Consistently running for President or meeting with other celebrities (and sometime making them run relay races to survive the trials and tribulations of his not so impressive reality show contests), Trump knows how to suck in the attention of the average American consumer.
Of course, quirkiness (and that’s putting it nicely) runs the risk of alienating large chunks of the population. Joining a chorus of conspiracy theorists earlier this year seemed to lower ratings for Trump’s show, and have hurt his public respect.
#3 CHARLIE SHEEN
One-time Hollywood star turned tier two, counter-cultural “head-case”, Sheen either loves attention regardless of where it comes from, or has badly stumbled on his way to respectable stardom. Sheen’s characters (the good ones, at least) have been mostly crude and rough around the edges. From his days of Cleveland Indians closer Rick “Wild Thing” Vaughn in Major League to his role as the foul-mouthed “role model” on Two and a Half Men, Sheen has built a reputation as someone who doesn’t care what other think of him. His most recent antics have torpedoed his show and set him up on a highly unusual world tour.
Again, perhaps Sheen wanted all of this. He’s certainly acting out his new role with conviction.
#4 CONAN O’BRIEN
Conan spent almost his whole life trying to become the next host of Jay Leno’s Tonight Show. In the end, the insomniac’s funny man wound up running his own show on TBS, a show considered by most critics to be far better, far funnier and far more impressive than anything Leno has done to date.
Conan gave a long speech about his failure to take over Leno’s show and told an audience of bright-eyed near graduates that their dreams would change and they would be at least partially defined by their failures. O’Brien also said that his first year with his new show was full of more fun and more conviction than any other year of his professional career.
Conan found his brand, and started realizing his dreams.
#5 LEBRON JAMES
Ending on a down note is not always the way to go, but Lebron James is as good an example of why you should take care in your branding as any other person in history. James came into the NBA as the chosen one, ready to make tracks and earn championship rings. Since then, the tracks have been devastating and rings have been non-existent. Lebron was less than straight forward with his hometown Cleveland franchise when he dragged them through a long free agent process and announced he would be leaving (in rather cocky rhetoric) Cleveland for the Miami Heat, a team with no shortage of talent. Many perceived James as taking the easy route. He followed that up with a personal playoff collapse, and nine months later is the villain of the NBA.
However, James still has one great hope: Your brand is always moldable. Just as Sheen has added some silliness to his personal, emotional connection with his audience, James can add a dose of victory. All he has to do is come back next year with more strength and conviction and win basketball games.