5 Personal Branding Lessons from Kitchen Nightmares

I recently started watching Kitchen Nightmares. The premise of the show is Gordon Ramsey, one of the most successful restaurant owners and chefs in the world works with struggling restaurants to help them be successful. While most of the show focuses on the kitchen and the food, every episode also involves a relaunch of the restaurant. The relaunch usually involves new branding as well.

There are a number of branding lessons used on the show that can be applied to personal branding as well.  Here are the top lessons that you can apply to your personal brand:

1. Show Your Passion

Being an owner should mean that you are passionate, but many restaurant owners don’t seem passionate. If you want people to buy in to what you are doing, YOU MUST OUTWARDLY show your passion. Be passionate – people can see it and feel it and will be inspired by it.

2. Find Clear Positioning

You need to clearly position your brand and find a niche. Whether it is a restaurant or your personal brand there is a lot of competition – a lot of people do what you do. You need to clearly position your brand and find a niche. For example, in one episode Ramsey creates a “GastroPub” which positions the restaurant differently than other bar and grills in the area. Some restaurants source local fresh ingredients, which separates them. Position your brand clearly and uniquely vs. all of the other people with you.

3. Be Known for Something

One of the biggest things that Ramsey does is make sure that each restaurant is known for something. For example “Jack’s has the best fish and chips in Michigan” (I don’t know if you can legally just say that, but in almost every restaurant they become the “best” something). Having a signature item creates excitement and makes an experience memorable. The same is true with your personal brand – what can you be known for? What is your signature? What are you best at?

4. The Physical Presentation much Match the Product

Another key to success is for both the restaurant exterior and the presentation of the dishes to match the quality of the product. This is true for your personal brand as well – your physical appearance should match the brand you are trying to build. If you are a designer, you may have an edgy and creative look. If you want to be taken seriously as a business professional you must have an impeccable appearance.

5. Connect with Your Community

To generate buzz for the relaunch of the restaurant, Ramsey usually has the restaurant connect with the community in some way by giving out samples at a farmers market or having a local farmers market to promote their fresh menu. The community will support them and their business. The same is true for your business – there is a community that will support you over time (your customers) – participate in the community. Be present at events and build relationships.