How MasterChef can teach you to be an unforgettable personal brand.
Updated: May 7
Somehow, I have only just discovered the delight that is Chef Gordan Ramsey. (I know, I am so behind all of the cool kids.) Last month, I became straight addicted to the MasterChef competition. If you live on Mars and somehow have made it through life without having enjoyed binge-watching hopeful home cooks compete with each other to win the coveted $250,000 prize money, bragging rights, and the love of America, I suggest you start with my favorite season: #8
I promise you that Masterchef did not sponsor this post. (Although if somehow it did, I wouldn't complain! I'm looking at you, Ramsey.) But their branding team did such an award-winning job branding each contestant so that we, the audience, could keep all of those contestants straight in our heads and pick the contestants that we root for that I just had to write it all down. Let's dive right in. Here's how MasterChef can teach you to be an unforgettable personal brand.
Relate to your audience by telling a story. Relate every decision to your story. Relate all of your current "big ideas" to your story. I can't remember the names of the three previous winners that I just watched, but I can remember that the last one was from Kentucky and was a teacher before the competition. I can remember that the one before was a dancer from Brooklyn. People remember stories because they are what connects us!
Be visually recognizable every time you show up. Each week, each competitor shows up dressed exactly the same way they were introduced to us in the very first episode. Maybe that person always wears a ballcap, has the same hairstyle, wears a polo shirt, wears a long-sleeve button-up shirt, wears a bandana, or a suit. Each competitor dresses in a way that aligns with the story that they tell. Consistency in the visuals makes it easy to stick in mind and stand out from the competition.
Presentation Matters. Every time one of the competitors brings up a dish that doesn't look to be 5-star quality, the judges grow concerned. "I hope this tastes better than it looks!" is a repeated lament! Even when a competitor brings up a very simple dish, it has to look like a winner. When you present your offerings, do they look like 5-star dishes or like a Whopper that you put on a plate? They both have their place, but you can't charge 5-star prices for a Whopper! You can't even charge 2-star prices for a Whopper! Presentation matters!
This simple yet effective recipe for personal branding will have you sticking in the mind of every person that you meet, online and in person. And if you have any doubt at all that this strategy works, check out a couple of episodes on MasterChef. You'll be convinced in no time. Bon appetite!