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McDreamy to become McSteamy: How a small business can win against the corporate giant

McDreamy to become McSteamy: How a small business can win against the corporate giant

“I’m confident we will be able to successfully build the brand.” – Patrick Dempsey, actor on Grey’s Anatomy

How a small business can win big: Patrick Dempsey, known for his acting role on Grey’s Anatomy, won a bid for Seattle-based, Tully’s Coffee, through his company, Global Baristas. This is definitely a big win for the small business. They actually out bid the daunting Starbucks Coffee in the process. It also gave Tully’s Coffee a solution to keep its brand and potentially continue serving up its coffee.

It is believed that Starbucks was thirsty for more distribution channels and they planned on transforming Tully’s locations to their own brand. Dempsey (and his other co-investors) have other plans. And, even to an actor, the value of branding is not lost.

“It’s a much smaller chain that has a lot of potential that hasn’t been given the proper care,” he said. Upon winning the bid, Dempsey tweeted, “We met the green monster, looked her in the eye, and…SHE BLINKED! We got it! Thank you Seattle! By the way, this tweet was retweeted approximately 680 times as of January 7.

Small Business 1-2-3s

The actor said he intends on being very active in helping the company succeed from Chapter 11 bankrupcy protection. Apparently, his first steps will be to tackle bookkeeping issues, increase staff morale and make some changes in the coffee shops. Once these issues are settled, long term goals would include taking the chain national. Tully’s Coffee, sold for $9.2 million, currently employs about 500 people.

Starbucks is known for consuming smaller coffee houses and converting them to add more locations for their brand. But, a small business can win. “In a society where there are so many big corporations that swallow the little guy, we thought, let’s not let this happen to this company,” Dempsey said.

How you can build your small business

If you run a small business or organization don’t wait until the writing is on the wall, or for someone else to save (or take) your investment. Examine your brand (what you offer, how you offer it, where you offer it…). Redefine your long term goals. Lay out the exact path of how you will get there.

This is how small businesses become successful and become big. One branding step at a time. And, sometimes, you may need to let go of the reins a bit so you can bring in an experienced professional that can help set the game plan for your goals. It can also enable you to focus on what you do best.

Why not set aside some time today to get started and scan your business status?

-Sandra Hamway, marketing strategist and founder of Infuse Five
Infuse Five, based in Ottawa, Canada, is dedicated to helping associations and small and medium sized businesses, across North America and globally. We help clients add innovative marketing communications strategies to help you grow your business. Want more smart MarCom tips?  Don’t miss a blog post – Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.





Marketing strategist and founder of Infuse Five Infuse Five, based in Ottawa, Canada, helps businesses and associations, across North America, grow. Focus is on innovative marketing and communications strategies. Ottawa marketing customized to fit your specific business needs.

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