Viking Simmers a Strategy

The gourmet rangemaker sees lifestyle branding as its edge in an increasingly crowded market

Dave Anderson for TIME

Viking products feature bespoke details, such as brass-trimmed knobs and chimney hoods.s

At least once a week, someone tells Viking Range marketing director Bill Andrews about his or her family's long, storied history with the company's products, claiming a mother or grandmother cooked on a Viking. Andrews smiles and nods, knowing that couldn't possibly be true. Viking turns 20 this year. "It just seems like we have been around forever because Viking is an icon," he says.

Going from zero to icon in 20 years was no accident. Viking founder and CEO Fred Carl set out to create a brand that would become synonymous with professional-class home cooking. He picked a look (industrial),...

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