(Image/Gair Maxwell)

If you’re contemplating or thinking at all about re-igniting and re-vamping your business and brand in 2017, consider this:

If you’re going to dream about it, might as well dream big.

And while you’re at it, borrow a few ideas from a guy who has the numbers to back it up:

  • All-time leading scorer in the history of his profession with 894 goals.
  • Only player to tally 200+ points in a season; a feat he accomplished on four occasions.
  • Holder of 60 NHL records and winner of 31 league awards.

Born and raised in Brantford, Ontario, Wayne Gretzky honed his skills on a backyard rink and despite a lack of size and physical strength became the standard by which hockey greatness is measured – both on and off the ice. After winning 4 Stanley Cups with the Edmonton Oilers, he popularized hockey in California and the southern U.S. after a blockbuster trade that saw him dealt to the Los Angeles Kings in 1988.

“The legacy of #99 extends far beyond the ice; forever frozen in the hopes and dreams of those who yearn to bring out their very best and the best of those around them.”

Before settling for creating a business and brand that merely mimics what everyone else is doing in your category, why not take a page from the Wayne Gretzky playbook and skate to an area only you can occupy?

Knowing that you will miss 100% of the shots you don’t take and recognizing that inspiration can come from anywhere, lace up your imaginary skates and consider the possibilities of Branding Like “The Great One” on this edition of The Reinvention Chronicles.

“I have absolutely no complaints about my life. But people think I got handed everything, all this kind of fell in my lap, that I was just God-gifted with all this talent. I wanted people to realize it’s a lot tougher than just waking up one day and you’re in the NHL”




1. Anticipating the Future is Critical:  Digital visionary Steve Jobs created one of the greatest brands of all, borrowing from the language of poetry and applying it to the microchip. The Apple genius was also among those inspired by “The Great One,” fond of quoting Wayne and Walter’s line about skating to where the puck is going to be. Jobs often reminded his Apple team that there was little use in skating to where the puck has already been. What Steve was really saying was that business and brand success hinges on the ability to anticipate future trends and explore areas where competitors dare not go. Despite being recently knocked off the #1 perch by Google, the Apple brand created by Steve is still worth more than most, clocking in at a valuation of $107.1 billion.

2. Think Bigger Than Your Backyard: Branding success of a world-class  nature will never come your way if you insist on playing small; especially if you run up against a competitor determined to stand up and brand up in a larger than life fashion. There are no world-class rewards that come from being the biggest fish in the small town pond.

3. Make Your Own Luck: The more Walter and Wayne traveled to out-of-town tournaments the luckier he got with respect to opportunities that presented themselves. More games meant more exposure and more chances to hone his skills. Only you can decide how much sweat equity you are willing to invest and whether you will take enough chances to place yourself in a position to be in the right place at the right time.

Business owners and career professionals in southern Ontario have an opportunity to learn more about this subject with a public seminar scheduled for Tuesday, March 28th at the Brantford Golf and Country Club. The Branding Highway is a workshop wrapped in the metaphor of a road trip that reveals how anyone can get much more mileage for their marketing dollar and efforts in such a way that will allow their enterprise to be Different, be Untouchable and be Remembered. Find out more about the Brantford event HERE.



While  Wayne Gretzky was breaking into the NHL in 1979, one of Canada’s great small business success stories was just getting started on a small corner lot in Fredericton,N.B. Just as the critics howled that Wayne would never survive the rigors of the rough and tumble NHL,there were many who ridiculed the branding approach taken by Jim and Dawna Gilbert. You won’t find many of those critics now as they’ve crawled back into the woodwork while Canada’s Huggable Car Dealer established itself as the largest independent used car dealer in all of Atlantic Canada.

A number of months ago Jim Gilbert and I created HUGGABLE UNIVERSITY; a monthly on-line, video-based program now available for you to plug into timeless secrets that created astonishing 15-20X business growth, substantial differentiation and a long-term strategy to build brand equity.   Huggable University with Jim Gilbert

If you are curious about how an otherwise ordinary, Mom-and-Pop business, from a most unlikely category, started doubling and tripling its annual sales volume and wound up becoming a bonafide “Category of One”; this is your opportunity to develop a similar brand-building strategy for your business. Some have referred to Jim Gilbert’s Wheels & Deals as the Canadian equivalent of world-famous Pike Place Fish Market in Seattle. All I know is that if Walt Disney himself was going to set up a used-car lot, he would be the first to enroll and take his cues from HUGGABLE UNIVERSITY. Besides Walt, if there is anyone who knows how leveraging the timeless lessons of story-telling can transform anything from Florida swampland to a Fredericton used-car lot and make your wildest dreams come true, it’s the man who created his own Five Acres of Fabulous, Jim Gilbert.

Originally published in Reinvention Chronicles

Gair Maxwell’s critically-acclaimed book, “NUTS, BOLTS AND A FEW LOOSE SCREWS” waits patiently for you at Chapters.ca and Amazon.com. His newest E-Book, “THE REINVENTION CODE” – 7 Timeless Secrets to Unlock New Beginnings in Business & Life is available as a free download

Featured Contributor

Gair Maxwell, Contributor
If you are curious about having Gair deliver a thought-provoking, high-voltage and potentially soul-stirring presentation to your organization or upcoming conference, brace yourself for this type of feedback. Learn more about his energizing, mind-shifting, rock-your world keynotes, seminars, customized workshops and business coaching programs visiting gairmaxwell.com.

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