Hard to believe that it's been a full eight years since Gwyneth Paltrow launched a little newsletter called Goop. Since then, that four-letter brand has blossomed (or mushroomed? metastasized? pick your verb!) into a lifestyle site with a massive audience, and more than its share of notoriety. Its food tips and recipes for dishes like "Whole BBQ Pulled Fish with Buckwheat Wraps, Tabasco Kale Salad, and Yogurt Tartar Sauce," not to mention its shopping tips, have been as influential as they've been ridiculed. But the empire has continued to grow, and now employs more than two dozen staffers and includes e-commerce and pop-up stores. Meanwhile, Goop's scope has expanded to include everything from relationship advice to tips about movies, books, design, money, careers, spirituality and "self-discovery." There's seemingly no subject that Goop doesn't weigh in on, but that world-dominating expertise hasn't come without a price for Paltrow. Eater put the star's dilemma this way:
Ever since Goop first launched, there have been more than a few skeptics. Joy of Cooking editor Beth Wareham told The New York Times back then, “Does the world really need another banana muffin recipe? I think someone like Gwyneth Paltrow would be better at telling people what not to eat.” As Paltrow has continued to defy naysayers and grow her empire, she hasn't managed to catch a break (she's been named Hollywood's most-hated star, among other things). So, what's a celebrity like her to do when the company she builds seems to suffer from her name association at least as much as it benefits from it? Step to the side—without actually stepping down.
Appearing at the 2016 Sage Summit in Chicago, a networking event for celebrities and "thought leaders," Paltrow explained why she's decided to take on a more low-profile role:
“In order to build the brand I want to build, its scalability is limited if I connect it to the brand,” Paltrow said. “So I always think how can I grow the brand, how can I separate myself from the brand and I think its going to be more its own brand. More and more I would like it to be its own brand—my dream is that one day no one will remember that I had anything to do with it," she said, as quoted in Vanity Fair.
Paltrow's announcement sets a record for the use of the word "brand" in a single quote, but will her plan succeed? Is a Paltrow-less public image a brilliant idea for Goop, or a death knell? Stay tuned.
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