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Badass Brand Breakdown: GUY FIERI

Welcome to Flavortown!

 

In this episode of Badass Brand Breakdown, we’re talking about the one, the only, Guy Fieri. 

 

In this series, I break down the personal brands of the people we love so that you get a bit of an understanding of what goes into building a brand.

Guy Fieri is the celebrity chef that people love to hate. Why? Because they’re assholes; because people love to hate on things. He has gotten a reputation for being cheesy, corny, all these things people love to hate on. When, in reality, he’s just a super nice guy. I will break down what makes the Guy Fieri brand so powerful and why I love him so much.

An Inclusive Core Message: Welcome to Flavortown!

“Welcome to Flavortown” is the tagline that encompasses everything that Guy is about. It’s his energy, his personality, what he likes to bring to food, and the sense of inclusivity that he’s welcoming everyone into his crazy world. But there’s a bigger idea that pervades Guy Fieri’s personal brand, which is why I love him. He is all about democratizing food culture. Food culture, especially for “foodies” or chefs, is super pretentious, exclusive, and snooty. To participate and be part of this world, you have to be so cool, wealthy, and usually white. Guy says fuck that. We can all eat delicious food in our everyday life, and a $100 tiny portion of stake isn’t that much yummier than something you can get down the street from your house. He’s all about welcoming people in and celebrating the food, people, and experiences around us. Food does not have to be pretentious to be delicious. 

 

This same spirit of inclusivity and good vibes is what his foundation is all about, too. He’s a big philanthropist, and he uses his foundation to support and celebrate the food industry and all different types of communities. 

Personal Brand Personality: The Rebel Meets The Everyman

Brand personality is the characteristics that your brand embodies, and Guy Fieri has a BIG personality. That’s what he is most known for. In terms of brand archetypes, he’s a little bit rebel meets the “everyman.” The everyman is all about belonging, welcoming, and down-to-earth – it’s the hospitality and joy you see in Guy’s brand. But he’s also got a bit of that classic Americana rebel. What I mean by this is that he’s exactly who he is and doesn’t really give a fuck (this is a theme in the brands that I love). He’s just himself, crazy, big personality and all – and you can take it or leave it, but he is who he is. And, he gives you permission to be yourself! He’s just a kind, warm, welcoming, all-around good guy. 


Some other characteristics of his brand are ideas like fun, enthusiasm, and goodwill. You don’t have to be “cool” all the time; it’s okay to like stuff and be enthusiastic about stuff! He doesn’t take himself seriously. He’s just having a good time; good vibes were had by all. You can see this very clearly in his tone of voice. Not every brand we talk about has a distinct tone of voice, but Guy definitely does. He says things like, “Welcome to Flavortown.” He has lots of catchphrases. “Out-of-bounds” is one of my favorites and has totally infiltrated how my boyfriend and I describe really good food. There’s also “peace, love, and taco grease.” Here’s a truly perfect example from his website:

We’re takin’ you on a road rockin’ trip down to Flavortown, where the gravitational force of bacon warps the laws of space and time.

I mean, that’s fun, right? That’s fun. 

 

All of this personality also makes its way into his visual identity. His look is famous. That’s what he’s known for. He has the bleached spiked hair, wears flame shirts, drives classic cars, has these super bro-y sunglasses from maybe the early 2000s that he even puts on the back of his head (I know, but you just gotta love him). All of this classic Americana vibe has infiltrated his brand from the typography to the bold, red, primary colors, and that’s how he makes his mark.

Personal brand breakdown Guy Fieri 

An Absolute Brand Activation Pro (and just the best dude!)

So he started – I believe – with restaurants, and now he has 20+ restaurants all around the country. He took that success and translated it to TV, which is why most of us know him today, with shows like Triple D (Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives) and Triple G (Guy’s Grocery Games), and a whole bunch of others that have really brought his personality into television everywhere and gotten us to know and love him so very much. Obviously, he also has a ton of cookbooks. 

 

But what he’s really known for is his philanthropy, which is another reason that all of this backlash around him just cause people want to hate on his personality is such bullshit. He’s known for being a super nice guy and giving back all the time! With the pandemic, he’s raised over $20million for out-of-work food industry workers. He has a foundation that gives scholarships, grants, and resources to up-and-coming chefs and restaurant workers. He also has the Pretzel Cart Project, where he provides pretzel machines to schools so that they can fundraise, as his first foray into his loves of food was with a pretzel cart.

 

He’s also donated hundreds of thousands of meals to people in need during natural disasters and emergencies. And when gay marriage was finally legalized in the US, he officiated 101 weddings in one day!


If all of that wasn’t enough reason to love him, he was Melissa McCarthy’s inspiration for one of the most amazing characters in romantic comedy history, Megan from Bridesmaids! Fun fact!

That’s the breakdown of Guy Fieri’s personal brand. I hope this gives you a little bit more of an understanding of the components of a brand like your core message, your personality, and your visual identity. Plus, I hope it gives you a little kick in the to be yourself and not give a fuck what anyone thinks, whether that means having bleached spiky hair or saying shit like “Flavortown.” As always, be unapologetically yourself!

 

For more on this, check out my brand archetype guide to figure out your true personality for your brand. 

 

Until next time, stay badass!

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