Let’s face it today, many things are becoming commodities. Generic branding which started not that long ago, is growing. Price is now pretty much the main deciding factor. Or, is it?I recently read a book about Jamie Oliver, the chef and entrepreneur. In the footsteps of many ahead of him who extended his name and personal brand to other products and services, e.g., cookware, cookbooks, shows and the like, Oliver has expanded his now familiar face and name to other income streams.With a friendly and affable persona, Oliver started his brand with an appearance in a TV documentary. His style and approach to cooking, plus his personality, of course, made him an ideal candidate as a TV personality.He did three series as “The Naked Chef” and then came “Jamie’s Kitchen”.Oliver then expanded to other areas from there including setting up his own production company, Fresh One Production Company.Jamie Oliver made a few mistakes along the way, but he had his sights well set at expanding his brand. He also did a lot of work for the public, including a School Dinners campaign and Ministry of Food. The former effort was aimed at improving the quality of school meals. The latter was aimed at encourage cooking in a housing estate.Not averse to controversy, Oliver used shock tactics to make consumers think about animal welfare standards.Again, these efforts help build on his persona, his personal brand.With the development of his name, his brand, his persona, Oliver went into partnership with different enterprises and manufacturers to build restaurant chains, a party planning business, “own brand” line of herbs, sauces, oils and kitchenware.And, he even got involved in multimedia activities, which includes a video game and video downloads for mobile phone users.So, the brand expanded and developed.While it may not be the way to develop your business, it is a means of building a brand, albeit in a more personal and persona-based business.I’ll cover some of the lessons Jamie Oliver learned in building his brand in future posts.Until then….