Fat Duck comes to Melbourne – Lessons On Personal Branding

Heston Blumenthal’s world class dining experience, the Fat Duck, is coming to Melbourne in February 2015. It feels like the whole of Melbourne has already entered or is planning to enter the ballot, which is open until October 26th. An independent third party will draw your golden ticket from the pool of ballots and allocate your dinner reservation at $525 per head. 

Essentially this would feed my children for a month: organic, uncaged, and gluten-free, if I wanted. Yet I am getting a little fidgety imagining I may be the only one who misses out if she doesn’t put her name down this week. 
When did we begin to think that $ 525 is a reasonable price for a dinner? That’s without the vino.

To understand the origin of this hype I took a closer look at Heston Blumenthal’s brand and discovered that right from the start he communicated and positioned himself in a very distinct way. He differentiated himself from all other celebrity chefs around and took to food in a scientific and creative way, which was different to what all others did. He found patrons that were willing to pay for an experience and not for a particularly filling dinner.

A friend of mine went to the Fat Duck in Bray in the UK a few years ago. He saved up his cash for months to take out his new girlfriend and impress her with an extraordinary experience, which they both had, and they are now married. They ended the night with a kebab in a dodgy take-away after leaving the place hungry. When you ask the couple today, they would do it again anytime.

With branding having moved way beyond its traditional product-based realm and Melbourne in a super-excited state, here is my question: What can we learn from Heston about Personal Branding? 

Know Who You Are

To create a brand that truly reflects who you are, you have to meticulously work out what you stand for, what your values are and how you would like to be perceived by your audience. With this knowledge you can start crafting your unique message and look to position yourself favorably in the mind of your target market. 

Blumenthal may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but that does not seem to matter. Even though he is not your approachable guy next-door like Jamie Oliver, it feels like we know him anyway because he confidently communicates his message. 

Be Strategic But Stick To Your Guns

Working out your future target audience is important research you should do before you start your

branding journey. Mapping out how you would like to speak to your market and what content you want to share, is equally as important as to finding your ideal platforms to connect with your people. 

A lot of information can be taken out of the brands that have inspired you in the past. What attracts you to them? How do they reach you? 

While taking inspiration from your idols, try not to copy them. People can tell whether a ‘real’ person who truly lives what they say is speaking to them or not. It is important to regularly reflect on your values and goals to reconnect with yourself as a person. 

My Tip

You are unique and you have very specific tools and abilities to offer. Speak to us about exploring your goals, personality, aspirations, strengths, values and your “Why” to understand and document your brand and your business.

You might ask “What if I have been running my business for a few years and never paid attention to personal branding?” It is never too late to establish your brand. We can help you craft your message and attract your perfect client by translating your vision and our understanding of your brand into digital assets to create a powerful personal brand platform.

With my finger on the ‘submit’ button I am wondering what I would feed my children for the month if I were one of the lucky people to indulge in Blumenthal’s snail porridge.