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THINKING BUSINESS
a blog by Chris Barrow

Branding and narrower niches

After my working day yesterday (mainly spent at Starbucks) I wandered off again – and found myself inexorably drawn back to the Apple shop in the Eaton Centre.

Haven’t they just got one of the best brands in the world now – for anyone interested in electronics and style, this has to be the place. You’ll be so proud of me – I still didn’t spend any money. I have to admit that the call from my good friend Dr. John Barry to tell me about his throat cancer did put a bit of a cloud over the morning – but I quickly realised that, if John wasn’t going to moan about his dreadful predicament, then I had little right to – so after a little reflection on the fact that I haven’t smoked since last weekend – I got on with the day. In the latest issue of Wired magazine (as well as a feature on atheism – how strange is that after my comments on A. C. Grayling’s book the other day?) there is a history of how the iPod was created and designed – it makes for a good read – read here. Wired continues to be the one and only publication I make the time for.

A confession – mid-afternoon I arrived back in my hotel room, settled down on the bed with aforesaid magazine and – fell asleep for a while. Silly old bugger – lay on the bed fully clothed with my specs perched on the end of my nose. Maybe the James Bond briefcase might be a little out of place? Last evening, the highlight of my downtown Toronto trip – dinner with my client and friend Simon Reilly at Jack Astors (again) because they have crayons! Simon, Laura and I met a couple of years ago at my Intensive in their home city of Vancouver – and since then they have taken everything I ever said, adapted it to their own style (and niche – financial advisors) and built one of the few truly successful coaching practices in North America. Simon is a natural enthusiast and we never stopped talking for three hours. My take from the conversation was that even “dentistry” is too wide a niche and that I could focus down on specific niches within the profession and launch a series of specialist schools. Rather than me repeat our conversation – you can read about it on Simon’s blog here. A careful study of our table top will reveal extensive notes!

My early night was to no avail – I woke at 3.30am this morning and haven’t been able to get back to sleep – oh dear. I’ll be leaving the Hilton at 9.30am this morning and hitching a ride with Sandra De Freitas (the Tech Coach for coaches) up to the Kingbridge Conference Centre, where our coaches intensive begins at 11.30am. Three days ahead of brainstorming – I’ll keep you posted.

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