Listen to Oprah, just this once.

Oprah’s 25-year talk show came to an end this past week, and I am only partially ashamed to say I am depressed about this. Thus, I shall honor her with a blog post. But bear with me—this is actually relevant to advertising.

Oprah is a huge proponent of finding your purpose in life. While you might tune her out, her thoughts on purpose and how to discover it are actually great advice for your brand. And since it’s clear by the wide spectrum of work out there that many brands have no idea what their purpose is, if they won’t take advice from me perhaps they’ll take it from Oprah—who has not only fulfilled her own purpose but also built a phenomenal brand in the process.

“Purpose feels like the right space for you, like what you SHOULD be doing.”

This is what purpose is, in Oprah’s words. Once your brand finds its purpose it will feel like the sweet spot you should have been hitting all along. If you have no idea what this sweet spot could be, try going back to the roots of your company—why it got started in the first place and what the founders believed—and talking to some of your most loyal fans. They could very well know your brand better than you do.

“Pretend to be someone you are not, and you will not reach your full potential.”

We all agree Pepsi should not try to be Coke and vice versa. You’re only cheating your brand if your goal is to emulate someone else’s. Nobody likes a poser, so stick to being yourself and it’ll pay off.

“If you don’t know your purpose, your immediate goal in life is to figure it out. The sooner you do, the sooner you can get to the business of doing it.”

What are you waiting for? If you think you’re just one viral video away from brand stardom, you’re probably going to be waiting a while. Get back to your “authentic self” as Oprah would say, and then things will start falling into place.

And if you want more Oprah wisdom…I may or may not have the anniversary DVD box set.

Oprah imparts her wisdom on “Masterclass,” an autobiographical TV show that just might inspire you if you’re a huge dork like me. Watch:



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