Monday, March 30, 2009

A Man, Some Jam ... and a Brand

Bruce makes and sells jam.

But, not just any kind of jam.

Legend has it that after an unsuccessful business venture, Bruce was left with 200lbs of frozen strawberries, along with some life lessons. Without any specific plan, but needing to do something with the strawberries, Bruce used a friend’s restaurant kitchen to make a batch of preserves, enhanced somewhat when the same friend came by offering a glass of Grand Marnier. Not being a drinking man, Bruce tossed the liqueur into the strawberries and voila! The first flavour of Prince Edward Island Preserves - Strawberry and Grand Marnier was created.

Today, the business produces over 100,000 jars annually, as The Prince Edward Island Preserve Company attracts a growing flock of jammers each year at its location in a restored 1913 butter factory in New Glasgow, PEI.

Few people are aware how Bruce was able to establish brand traction in his start-up phase, without spending any advertising dollars. Since construction costs to renovate the butter factory devoured what little there was in the way of a marketing budget, Bruce had to rely on nothing more creativity, courage and ... a kilt.

PEI Preserves has grown from a staff of two to a seasonal staff that peaks at about 80 in the summer months. Throughout the years, Bruce MacNaughton has been honoured with many awards including Atlantic Canadian Retailer of the Year by The Canadian Gift & Tableware Association and Tourism Operator of the Year by the Tourism Association of Prince Edward Island. As a professional speaker, Bruce shares his first-hand experiences of what it takes to overcome incredible odds in life and business with more than 25,000 people each year.

Bruce MacNaughton has proven many times over that a lack of capital is never a valid excuse for failing to create a successful brand and business. No matter what cards you are dealt in business, guts and imagination trumps cash every time.

And Bruce would be the first to tell you that, deep down, each one of us are holding the wild cards of creativity, courage and our own version of a kilt.

Will you lay those cards face down in your next "Grand Marnier" moment?

"Strategy should evolve out of the mud of the marketplace, not in the antiseptic environment of an ivory tower” AL RIES

p.s... In case you were wondering, Bruce was interviewed by Corey Poirier . TSB would like to thank Darin Foulkes of Foulkes Productions for giving us the heads up.

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