Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Want A Lesson In Personal Branding? Look At Bravo.

Lots of people in Madison "don't watch TV" and they like to tell me this when I ask them if they've seen the entire season of Top Chef or the Rachel Zoe Show. I probably watch entirely too much TV but I have an educational reason (sort of) and it's that Bravo has genius personal branding skills. Every single show turns out new stars from virtual obscurity and I've started paying attention to how they are branding these people and promoting them online to create this huge awareness for...well... semi regular people.
Maybe its because they don't want to pay celebrities huge amounts of money to be on their shows that they started creating their own but they've got a great method. Tips from the Bravo process of celeb creating:
1) They have a place to showcase them - this is the show in their case but for bloggers, businesses, etc. this could be videos on your blog, writing articles for an online publication, etc. Make your content available.
2) They showcase personality - Granted some of the "stars" of these shows have personalities we'd rather not be known for but ALL of them have a unique personality that doesn't get covered by the substance of the show. Don't let your content be all you put out there. Let your quirks, your observations, and your views come out as well. Bethany from Real Housewives of New York is snarky as hell (she got book deals), Tim Gunn has a signature saying, look, and cadence of speech (he has book deals, spinoff shows, appearances), and Rachel Zoe has passion for clothing that is almost palpable on her show (book deal, appearances, cartoon). You get the idea.
P.S I know that the personality part is really hard especially if you want to have a professional blog or video. I often don't want to write about when I screw things up or am drowning in self doubt because who will want to work with me if I'm going on and on about those topics? It's a fine line but without any personality to establish context it's tough for people to connect with you.
3) They cross promote. I've seen Rachel Zoe judging Project Runway and the Housewives all over the place so Bravo clearly knows what its audience wants to see. Think about other online personalities that might be talking to the same people you are.

Next time someone tells you that you can't learn anything from TV.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Genius! The one thing I realize more and more everyday is that the more personalities and quirks show up the more people respond. Doesn't mean everyone is going to love you, but it sure means that people are going to notice you which is a lot more important in business. Thanks Caitlin. You are my hero.

November 11, 2009 at 11:54 AM  
Blogger Royce said...

Padma Lakshmi's rack doesn't hurt either. There I said it.

The cross branding is smart of Bravo and I find it interesting how that network iteself has built its own brand. I remember not that long ago when their highest-rated show was West Wing reruns on holiday weekends.

November 12, 2009 at 1:09 PM  
Blogger Caitlin said...

Thanks Anonymous!

Royce - I will concede that Padma's errr, assets have probably helped her along since she has a pretty low key personality.
Bravo, like them or not, is definitely a company to watch though in terms of understanding brand building.

November 13, 2009 at 9:21 AM  

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