Putting Personality Into Your Business

Putting Personality Into Your Business 

 I’m a fan of Paul Smith. There is a great Paul Smith documentary on Netflix which tells the story of how he got started in business and how he grew from 1 little shop in Nottingham to now over 300 shops worldwide and an annual revenue of around £200 Million. 

 Paul Smith enjoys an almost cult status in Japan and it is the company’s largest international market. In the documentary he makes a remark that people will often tell him he is ‘really lucky’ to have such a strong business in Japan and to be so well known there. He doesn’t put it down to luck though… 

 “Yes there was some luck along the way. But there was also 20 to 30 media interviews I did on every trip. I made sure they knew who I was. 

 Many business owners suffer from a sense of entitlement. They strongly feel they are entitled to have customers just because they have a business. Which is completely 180 degrees the wrong way to think. 

 Paul Smith talks about when he got started he had no money and the only fabric he could afford to buy was white cotton to make white shirts. But immediately he asked himself “There are a lot of nice places you can buy white shirts from – why would anyone buy a white shirt from me?” Instead of a sense of entitlement he asked a smart question. And he came up with an answer.  

 He decided that he would make a feature with interesting buttons and colourful patterns on the cuffs. And that became his USP and what he is still recognised for today. But it came about out of necessity. A necessity to differentiate a white shirt when he had no money to invest in the business. 

 Over the years he has continued to put his personality into his business. From the mini motifs to bicycles. His business reflects his personality and he shares his personality with his customer. 

 “They buy a piece of me when they purchase Paul Smith. Because they know things about me. Like my love of cycling.  My origins as a shirt maker and tailor in Nottingham. My passion for creativity and fun. They know these things about me and they like me and that is why they buy. 

 Sound familiar? This is what your newsletter is for. You’re unlikely to get 20 or 30 media interviews this month. But your media is your newsletter. This is how you make sure your customers get to know you and bond with you. This is the medium by which you constantly infuse your personality into your business.