Archive for the ‘Brand extension’ Category

Extending Rick Stein

September 23, 2010

I’ve just spent a very enjoyable long weekend in Padstow, Cornwall, now known as the home of Rick Stein. I knew he had a couple of places there, but was unprepared for the extent of his diversification: a deli, patisserie, gift shop, cookery school and accommodation as well as an expensive restaurant, a mid-priced restaurant and a fish and chip shop.

Apart from wondering about whether it’s too much Rick in one small town it got me wondering about how they define and manage the Rick Stein brand.  I would have imagined the brand would have stuck to seafood only but clearly not given the patisserie and gift shop.

It’s not even strictly speaking restricted to food, given that the gift shop sells all sorts of non-food including homeware and jewellery – and stuff that isn’t as premium or interesting as I would expect from the brand.  And the posh restaurant and cookery school aren’t branded Rick Stein at all (they’re called The Seafood Restaurant and Padstow Seafood School), yet I’d have thought they were the core expressions of the brand.

 Where there is Stein branding the design and typeface varies, presumably to reduce the sense of one mega-brand and give the different entities slightly different characters.

I don’t object to that, assuming they know what they are doing. My fear is it’s just being done rather randomly.  To make the most of a valuable brand I think they need to take care, especially now that they are expanding beyond Padstow.  But good luck to them: I think he’s done a great job of popularising seafood, and Padstow.