There’s no one more beloved than Maggie Beer in Australia. She’s adored by young and old alike. Her industry reveres her. The whole nation holds her up as a beacon of happiness and delight… and of course fabulous food and wine.
I would 100% categorize Maggie as Iconic. In so many ways. She epitomizes what it is to be Iconic and create a disruptive legacy with your personal brand.
When I look at what makes an Icon, well… Iconic, there are always some rules that I apply. Our work over at Icons Incorporated makes us pretty darn good at spotting the remarkable traits of an Iconic personal brand, and they are:
- They have significant and audacious goals.
- They are an extreme pioneer, revolutionary.
- They are in a category of one.
- They have a unique point of view.
- They have brave, polarizing opinions.
- They are producers, bringing ideas into action.
- Their personal brands are inexorably attached to their business.
- They have multiple streams of income.
- They have supreme magnetism.
- They have devoted evangelical fans.
Maggie Beer is Iconic in Every Way
When you look at those 10 remarkable traits of the Icon, Maggie Beer ticks them off in every way.
With a love for food deeply ingrained since her youth, Maggie opened her first business, The Farm Shop, which was very rustic in South Australia’s Barossa Valley in 1979, and seeing the potential to expand that same year, she opened the Barossa Pheasant Farm Restaurant. The restaurant became legendary for its rustic, home cooking style and beautiful quality, local ingredients, including from their own farm. The restaurant went on to win major awards, including the Remy Martin Cognac – Australian Gourmet Traveller Restaurant of the Year award in 1991.
It’s this integrity in the quality of the food and creating a category of her own in the farm-to-table niche that Maggie created her Iconic personal brand.
Seeing the huge potential for creating an empire from her personal brand, Maggie Beer went on to solidify her Iconic status with her multiple high-profile deals leveraging her highly-valuable IP and stunningly charismatic personality. She has written many best-selling books, hosted TV shows such as The Cook & The Chef on ABC and more recently, The Great Australian Bake Off for Lifestyle Food.
Now, all of this is wonderful, and I celebrate the celebrity she has crafted so elegantly; but what I really admire and call Iconic are the moves Maggie has made with her company, Maggie Beer Holdings.
This is Iconic. This is epic. This is true Empire-building.
The Commercialization of Maggie Beer’s Iconic Brand
Starting out as a small food manufacturing business, the Maggie Beer name soon become something of a phenomenon and grew to become a listed company in Australia, Maggie Beer Holdings, with four premium brands all in full alignment and integrity with Maggie’s personal brand ethos. Quality ingredients, locally sourced produce, premium gifting, and rustic entertaining. The four brands include Maggie Beer Products, Paris Creek Farms, Saint David Dairy, and Hampers & Gifts Australia.
The boss-move of acquiring Hampers & Gifts Australia in March 2021 for $40m, takes the company revenues of Maggie Beer Holdings to more than $85 million.
Maggie’s businesses and brand have grown astronomically during the pandemic when most hospitality and food-based businesses struggled.
Many of the gains have been due to the brand’s upleveling to creating a media empire with the website, Maggiebeer.com.au, which not only is now an eCommerce store, selling all of her own-name products, it also acts as a sticky marketing tool to continually grow Maggie’s subscriber database and followers, who continue to love and adore her.
Exit and Succession for Personal Brands: Holding on to Maggie Beer
One of the most significant struggles I hear from those who want to leverage their personal brand in a similar way to Maggie is a concern around exit and succession. Maggie struggled with this too, as neither of her daughters was interested in taking over the family business.
There are many poorly negotiated attempts at selling a personal brand, but Maggie’s is a good one, and a great inspiration for anyone wanting to take their name to the globe whilst still protecting its integrity.
At 74 years of age, Maggie sold half of her business interests to ASX-listed food and beverage group Longtable, and in 2019 sold the remaining shares to the group, remaining on the Board and as a creative director. Since this time, there have been significant changes to the brand including acquisitions, product deals with major supermarkets, and of course, the major acquisition of the aligned hamper business in 2021.
Maggie shows us that it is possible to maintain your personal brand name, and have your business name live on in this happy business marriage.
The Iconic Maggie Beer
Maggie simply seems to be living her most potent existence now. Laughing, having fun, and giving back through her Foundation; alongside her media work on Masterchef and the Great Australian Bake Off.
Every time I switch on a program and see her, I am reminded why Iconic Empires are MY passion. What Maggie has achieved over her many decades of creating her Iconic Empire is so filled with heart and integrity and passion, it is inspiring at the highest level.
Like Maggie, create in your true potency and power. Maggie shows us what is possible even in the smallest of towns deep in South Australia. All hail, Iconic Maggie.
Play big. Become Iconic. Build your Iconic Empire.
P.S. Want to dig deeper into your Iconic brand and building an Iconic Empire? Start by applying to work with Kathryn by clicking the link below.