Season 3 Ep #3: The Birth of a Brand: IP Goes Pop Has a Side Order of French Fries
This episode of IP Goes POP! traces the development of a brand from its inception to a seminal trademark.
No matter the size of a business, it is important to grow your brand and establish goodwill in your name - and for that you need a strong trademark. In this podcast episode, IP Goes Pop! co-hosts, Volpe Koenig Shareholders, and intellectual property lawyers, Michael Snyder and Joseph Gushue, welcome Philadelphia's own Pete Ciarrocchi, founder of Chickie’s & Pete’s Sports Bar and Crab House.
In this episode, you will hear how Pete built his business, and what all business owners should know about building their brand, as well as the steps involved in protecting a brand. On the show, Pete shares the history of Chickie’s & Pete’s from a stool-less corner bar, tucked away in a former North Philadelphia row-home, to a franchise and regional staple of Philadelphia and beyond, home to the CRABFRIES® seasoned french fries (a Chickie’s & Pete’s restaurant staple and federally registered and protected trademark).
Without giving away the trade secret recipe, Pete sheds light on the genesis of CRABFRIES® seasoned french fries. The story is one made for the movies, including a misplaced delivery order, and a son's struggle to expand the offerings of a corner bar. After months of trial and error, Pete had used his grit and guerrilla marketing skills to create the perfect seasoning, but how to protect his delicious and quickly growing product? Once CRABFRIES® seasoned french fries had caught on and others wanted to copy what he had created, he knew it was time to seek intellectual property protection.
When did Pete realize he was on to something protectable? How did he know he had an idea worth investing in and promoting? These are questions all entrepreneurs need to ask themselves as they seek to reach a broader customer base. There are many ways to protect your brand once you have one, and obtaining a federal trademark registration can be critical. Protecting your brand is an investment and a cornerstone for why IP law exists.
What can business owners learn from this well-seasoned success story? Order a basket of fries for the table and find out! This podcast is not legal advice, we encourage you to seek out a trademark attorney to walk you through all of the information needed to get started with a trademark or patent.
1:20 Meet Pete Ciarrocchi - Chickie & Pete’s
2:17 French Fries in Pop Culture
4:22 Philadelphia's Chickie’s & Pete’s
- History as Bar
- Transition into food and foundation for french fry “empire”
10:31 Invention of CRABFRIES® seasoned french fries
- Creating a good product
- Building demand
- “Getting the word out” - Educating the public about your product
14:57 How do you know your brand is growing? When should you protect your fast-growingidea?
- Tucker: The Man and in His Dream (1988)
- Proprietary, trade secret recipes
- Trademarks and marketing
18:50 Keys to Establishing a Strong Brand
- Seeing opportunities
- Guerilla Marketing
- Establishing goodwill
26:54 Graphics and Logos
29:36 Ongoing Protection of Your Brand
- “Protect everything!”
- “P.C. Caddy” Dipping sauce holder Design Patent
- Branding vs. Inventing Products that Solve Problems
- Does your idea need to be made to be protected?
37:21 Final thoughts on protecting your brand