5 Creative Thinkers To Inspire Your Small Business Marketing


Stop what you’re doing. Right now. It’s time for some small business marketing inspiration to re-energize your creative stores.

We’ve got 5 examples of people who didn’t just think out-of-the-box, they jumped out and reinvented it. You could be just like them if you shake the cobwebs out of your brain and take inspiration from their examples:

1. Nicholas Brand @kiltednic

In 2002 a Vancouver window washer wanted to add more fun to his business by wearing a kilt around town. Flash forward to 2006 and this enterprising Canadian had (with the help of partner Brent Hohlweg) grown the quirky business into a million dollar enterprise. By 2009, Men in Kilts began franchising in Canada and in April 2011, entered the U.S. market.

Small Business Marketing Spark: Have some fun with your marketing tactics — Everyone wants a reason to smile.

2. James Dyson

You’ve seen the commercials. They are a product pitch narrated by a smooth English voice. The subject of the spot is sleek and dynamic. No, it’s not a car – it’s a vacuum.

James Dyson came to the U.S. in 2002 with a product that was high priced for a market that wasn’t looking for new entrants. He had created an upright vacuum that exerted 3 times the centrifugal force of a bullet shot from a gun just to suck up dirt better without a bag.

It isn’t just Dyson’s rapid success in the U.S. vacuum cleaner market that can inspire — within two years he’d cornered 15% of the $4 billion dollar market with a product that cost more than 3 times his competitors’– it was his steadfast commitment to his idea. He made 5,127 prototypes before he got it right.

Small Business Marketing Spark: Embrace failure. It’s inevitable and may be just the nudge you need to get to the next level of success.

3. Dhani Jones @dhanijones

He was an NFL player whose friend loved to wear bow ties. When that friend got cancer, Jones began wearing them in support. At the time he was the first active player to report from the sidelines and he got a lot of heat for his bow tie style.

He stuck with it, determined to use that bow tie as a positive symbol. Not only did he change people’s perception of him, he also changed the perception of players and the NFL.

Small Business Marketing Spark: There’s nothing like a cause to inspire creativity.

4. Troy Carter

When Troy Carter’s new management group introduced their first artist to the music scene, they were roundly rejected by every pop radio station across the country. It seems they felt this singer’s style didn’t fit the demographic.

Carter turned to social media, creating relationships with entertainment bloggers and spreading the word through Twitter, Facebook and MySpace. The result – Lady Gaga broke through with a huge fan base in place.

Small Business Marketing Spark : Use social buzz to set your brand apart.


5. David Karp @davidkarp

This start-up wiz was fascinated with “tumblelogs”, loosely crafted pages of posts, photos and links users could create to share their interests. Karp created a new platform that streamlined the process and took it directly to the tumblelogging crowd.

They loved it and Tumblr was born.

Small Business Marketing Spark: Pitch your new project first to the right audience.


These examples are just a slice of the creative success story pie. Need another jolt to get your wheels turning? Ask yourself this question, “If you knew that you’d succeed, what risks would you take?”

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