Paula Deen is great person to examine when it comes to online identity and branding. Despite recent events, when you her the name Paula Dean what comes to mind? A celebrity chef, a cooking show host, a restaurateur, an author, an actress are just a few of the items on Paula’s resume.
Most famous for her Southern cooking Paula Deen made herself a house hold name thru branding. For many it was her bubbly Southern personality and love of butter that made her most memorable. Food Network describes it best, “Start with one part Southern charm, add a dash of “hey y’all” and pour in a bountiful dose of cooking expertise, and you have the recipe for Paula Deen, host of Paula’s Best Dishes and Paula’s Home Cooking.”
She took her love of cooking and created a brand. A brand that includes a butter line, a cookware line, cookbooks, television shows and much more; a long way for a newly divorced mother of two with just a couple hundred dollars to her name. Her message was simple, down home southern cooking. Paula always includes her family in her work and even used her own kitchen for the taping of her show.
She created a great amount of success for herself and a well-known brand. Paula is known as the quintessential American story, that is, until recently. Over the past year there have been several allegations made about Paula Deen; while there is no need to go into them in depth, Paula’s brand in on the brink of disaster. What American saw and knew about this icon had changed in the blink of an eye.
It is important that no matter who you are, the person you portray online and in person, is the “real” you. Those skeletons hidden in the closet, will surface one day, especially when you are constantly under the scrutiny of the public eye. A person must constantly be aware of how these actions may affect their brand; or for many of us “regular Joe’s” your online identity.