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Today is Oprah’s last show before she moves exclusively to her own network. The link from E! Online offers a sneak peek of an emotional farewell, reminding us of the personal connection that is Oprah’s biggest strength. If we have moments of doubt about the idea of an individual creating a brand, Ms. Winfrey stands as evidence of how one woman can get on first name basis with populations across the globe, gain screaming audiences and even reach cult status!

Oprah offers an interesting case study for anyone interested in personal branding. Can you think of anyone who has more successfully turned her name into a brand? While the idea of personal branding has been getting increased coverage thanks to the relatively new social networking sites, the idea has been around for a couple of decades. It seems today as though she is a text-book case of how you take the idea of a personality, a vision and a philosophy and make it undeniably yours! Her show was built on the idea of hanging out with friends – from the celebrities who were her guests to the audience members who received personal gifts, Oprah built her brand through those personal connections. She became a voice that could influence book choices, Christmas gifts and presidential elections!

Whether you like her or not, whether you have followed her show or not, there is no denying her presence and her influence. So, kudos to her for a great run with this show! And good luck with her future endeavors!