1 min read

One person's trash

I love reality TV. There, I said it.

I look precisely like the couch trash: In my fluffy bathrobe, with a mug of hot tea, cackling at dumb jokes, talking at my TV like an angry man shouting at the cloud, and losing brain cells over blown-out-of-proportion arguments. This is my paradise – and I refuse to call it "guilty pleasure."

Because I have no regrets over something so trashy that is also incredibly insightful.

(Wait what?)

My favourite reality TV franchise in the world is "Real Housewives." In a nutshell, it's about a group of wealthy women – self-made and by marriage alike – and their daily lives.

You can judge these women and their lavishness all you want but what they do brilliantly is how they use this platform. The different variations of the show (divided by cities, eg "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" or "Real Housewives of Salt Lake City") attract from 1 to 2.5 million of people per episode. Each show has a fierce online community, with fans raving for every housewife.

Perhaps, when you have such reach, it would be easy to launch something and have it sold out in a day. Yet, I disagree: These women play the long game of building their personal brands through this national TV platform – and in turn, it's become the launchpad for their businesses, let alone their reputation.

Bethenny Frankel, an ex-Housewife from New Your City franchise, has become a self-made millionaire through her SkinnyGirl lifestyle brand – and oh gal, her genius in weaving the promotion of her brand into the show's storylines was beyond: It was never "buy mine" or "look how cool I am" but had to do a lot with Bethenny's popularity and resonance among the audiences over the years.

Unforgettable housewives are intentional brand-builders: They tell the stories that are true to who they are and build an emotional connection with their people.

And nuggets like this make me wonder: Why – as creators & entrepreneurs – don't we pay attention to these women? Why do we disregard reality TV as something dumb whereas people out there come out authentically and build the strongest and most loyal bond with the audiences?

Why don't we lean into our personalities instead of boxing ourselves into a "professional" persona?

Some trash for thought. (For your treasure.)