What Oprah Can Teach The Boys At Goldman Sachs

What if Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein were an NBA star?  Would anyone then complain about his high compensation?

If you have any doubt just how powerful brands can be in shaping public perception, talk to Lloyd Blankfein, CEO of Goldman Sachs.

 

Mr. Blankfein, and many of his cohorts on Wall Street, have been skewered by the press, politicians and the public for their lavish compensation.


The appropriateness of Wall Street pay is a commentary for another day.  What’s fascinating, though, is how celebrities and sports figures who routinely earn many times more than Wall Street CEOs (and occasionally behave much more badly) somehow avoid the public wrath.

 

There’s a curious dualism evident in how the public evaluates the fairness of compensation for Wall Street executives versus that of high profile entertainment figures.  The dichotomy is rooted in basic branding issues, and highlights just how influential personal and corporate brands can be in shaping consumer perceptions.


Learn more about it by reading my recent Brandweek magazine article.