But I am Not Nike or Starbucks!

The workshop I delivered on Monday at the Oakville Chamber of Commerce for small business week, was to a room predominantly full of small business owners and solopreneurs. It was a mixture of products, retail and service businesses - but there was a common theme coming out when we talked about marketing, advertising and branding.

We are not Starbucks or Nike or Virgin - we do not have the resources or reputation - let alone the budget that these have.

Absolutely - but ;

- Nike stated as a one person company selling shoes out of the back of a van at track meets - it was another three years before they had their first retail store

- Starbucks was one coffee store in Seattle - and it was over 11 years later before Howard Schulz's concept was developed to sell such offerings as Latte's

- Virgin was a mail order record company started by a 20 year old that is now the most admired brand in the UK

What these and many other successful brands have in common is one or two personal brands that had a passion, believed in their vision and pursued it. I am sure none of them had big budgets or endless talent to start with - but they recognised what they were good at and were able to communicate that effectively to enough people that their businesses grew.

The parcipants in the workshop all have that too - that raw passion and belief in that what they are doing is going to be a success - the key in unearthing the power of their personal brand to be truly successful.

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