Jamie Oliver is more than a celebrity chef with a bankable image. At heart he is an entrepreneur. And looking at the many ventures he has been involved with, this entrepreneural vent is obvious.
He has gone from his initial television appearances and extended his brand by opening restaurant chains,f ood shops and taking time out to design consumer cooking products. He uses his name and his celebrity status by working this into a range of interrelated interests.
A The golden rules of brand extension use the strength of Oliver’s reputation and strength of his brand to extend this. Diversification allows you not only sell more products but also to spread your risks. As whatever you sell when you reach a point of saturation, diversification allows you some protection from that saturation by selling other products.
Of course, there are no guarantees of continued success. A successful television show may be axed if ratings fall or production companies want a fresh face. (Jamie Oliver’s early setbacks in television attest to this being something that is always back of the mind.)
Consider also that if a show is dropped, this will affect other products, e.g., book sales will suffer without the support of a television show.
Diversification offers a degree of protection if say Oliver’s television shows are dropped, as restaurants, consumer products and so on will still be there.
They also have a potential of developing a momentum of their own.
Brand extension also has some risks associated with it.
A known name can help achieve market acceptance. The Jamie Oliver brand helps sell his range of kitchenware, cookbooks and the like.
However, a brand given to a poor product or a good one that doesn’t excite the public’s imagination can damage the parent brand. And, by extension even ruin the goodwill that may already have been built into the original brand.
When you extend your brand, you have to control your affairs, you will have to build values people associate with around the branded products.
Oliver developed an image of straight-talking chef, who was passionate about good food being available to the public.
It is also important to note that it is important to stick to your knitting. Oliver concentrated on food and cooking. All his business ventures centred around these.
Brand extension is also achieved by partnering with others. Oliver always tried to hire talented people, develop them in his organisations and he looked at successful businesses to partner with to develop products that would carry his brand name.
Also, by diversifying into other products and business ventures, Oliver has created a platform that allows him to survive in business even his television celebrity status should begin to fade.