Against a backdrop of increasing consumer cynicism around so called ‘celebrity chef’ brands, Raymond Blanc OBE was looking to take his brand into the retail space. It posed questions, such as what meaning did his brand have for people? And how could he stretch his luxury brand name into and retail products without creating an expectation gap?
We had to create a brand strategy and architecture framework and identity system that allowed for growth in both luxury experiences, and mainstream retail products without compromising his authenticity in either.
OUR STRATEGY: THE DEFINITIVE
We defined a brand proposition that positioned Raymond as the definitive chef, a culinary godfather and standard setter in British culinary history. His name alone was a guarantee of excellence. Raymond is a man of values and we helped him to articulate them, and his purpose, to create real authenticity. Against this we designed a brand architecture framework and flexible identity system.
MAKING IT WORK IN THE REAL WORLD: 3 GUIDING PRINCIPLES
1. Creating one brand, and two brand experiences – We created one hand-cut core luxury logo, inspired by Raymond’s precision cutting technique, accompanied by the RB monogram that was a nod nod to his nickname in the kitchen at Le Manoir.
To signal the ‘accessible luxury’ retail brand we created a diffusion line, Blanc by Raymond Blanc, the name underpinned by his own signature as a seal of quality. It was clearly part of the visual family, but created sufficient distance between the everyday luxury and super-luxury experiences.
2. Blanc is in the detail – To combat the inherent consumer cynicism in the category regarding the reality of listened celebrity chef brands, this proposition captured our approach of creating a sum of parts that delivered on a feeling of real involvement in product development. Categories might have specific needs and requirements and levels of involvement but we could keep a set of recognisable design assets.
3. Le True original – we positioned Raymond as the true original, the definitive product experience. In every category we benchmarked the best in class and delivered a cut above. In every product description English was pre-fixed with the French Le or La to suggest ‘the definitive’ whilst reflecting the warmth of his personality and distinctive use of Franglais.
WHAT WE DID