It was reported earlier this week that Gwyneth Paltrow’s lifestyle website, GOOP, has been facing increasing debt and falling assets. While the Oscar-winning actress may deliver on the big screen, it appears the failing GOOP is not delivering to the number of women it needs to reach in order to be successful.
While there may be other valid reasons for why GOOP is failing, as addressed below, many observers are quick to point out Paltrow’s inability to relate to most American women as the main reason said women are not flocking to her site to see her latest recommendations on organic beauty products and the best hotels in Italy. The assessment is not off base as Paltrow is often viewed as privileged and out of touch. She does herself and her website no favors when she makes comments in the press about how hard it is to be a mother and work 14 hour days on the set of a movie – a movie that she gets paid millions of dollars for and requires her commitment for only a fraction of the year. This is not to say that Paltrow must censor herself to appeal only to the average American woman or struggling working mother but the best way for something to be successful is still word of mouth and today’s word of mouth is social media.
It is highly unlikely that anyone will share something on Facebook or Twitter and tell their friends to check it out if it is dry, unfunny and hard to relate to, which is exactly what Paltrow’s short posts, signed “GP,” are. She consistently shares dry, unfunny, hard-to-relate-to posts about having “just touched down in Paris” or why she loves her favorite black jumpsuit on GOOP. There is nothing in these posts that makes them “shareable” for most women. They are not funny. They are not interesting. They are not surprising. They are not useful. As for the women who can afford her organic beauty products and hotels in Italy and who may even find Paltrow endearing and relatable, there are either not enough of these women or they are not finding GOOP useful enough to share it with their friends or both.
It has been said that you can never be too rich or too thin. What does every woman want, no matter how rich or thin they are already? Women want to save money and save calories and if Gwyneth Paltrow can save them time as well, she will be successful. Rich or poor, women are not sharing her GOOP posts and recommendations because they are not finding them useful. GOOP needs a daily “life hack” to create buzz. Perhaps, everyday, GOOP can share one that people will find surprisingly easy, such as an organic, clean recipe that Gwyneth herself swears by but only requires three ingredients and three steps or an exercise comprised of three easy moves that can be done in three minutes. The message is that “You can look, feel and be like Gwyneth in no time and at hardly any cost.” Now, that would get people sharing.
A “site revamp” also appears to be in order. The GOOP website is attractive but it does nothing to draw a visitor in. At first, it is unclear how it is organized. Then, nothing stands out. Instead of seeing more than one appealing thing to click on, nothing looks appealing or interesting.
If Gwyneth Paltrow and GOOP choose not to change a thing, the site will likely fold in less than two years. There are simply not enough rich Gwyneth Paltrow fans to sustain it. By all accounts, the economy is still not fully recovered from the lows of 2008 and there appear to be plenty more women who will carry what they learned from the recession on how to be a “recessionista,” instead of a “fashionista.”
Gwyneth Paltrow has seen years of success in the movie business as well as being a New York Times Bestselling cookbook author. However, the failing GOOP site will need more than her talents to be successful. Paltrow and the GOOP team need to take an honest look at their approach before the whole venture ends up on the cutting room floor of the internet.
Opinion by Jennifer Fernicola Ronay
Photo by WEBN-TV – Flickr License