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I'm With The Band

I have a secret: I’m a groupie. For Northern Tool + Equipment. They’re not a band.

I fell for Northern Tool + Equipment as soon as I read their story.
Donald L. Kotula started the company – his picture is on the “company info” page. He reminds me of my grandfather. He has a 5 o’clock shadow and his company baseball hat cocked slightly to the side – a giant wrench is leaning against his shoulder. I’m certain he knows how to use it.

From the beginning of his career, Mr. Kotula has had a make-it-yourself mentality: he started making tools that were needed, but didn’t exist. Let me repeat that: he started making tools that were needed, but didn’t exist. From the looks of Northern Tool + Equipment, that’s worked out for him okay.

Like my grandfather, Mr. Kotula exemplifies a person who lives in awareness, resourcefulness and action. His story is personal. It weaves together milestone life/work experiences as if they were effortlessly leading him to this future: his home town identity; working for his father recycling industrial debris later used to make unavailable equipment; starting his own business as a teenager refurbishing and selling used hydraulic components; earning a degree in business and finance; working as an accountant; and finally returning to the first business idea he had originally been drawn to when he was young: tools. Its the story of how his business came to be, with a strong thread of family throughout. It’s personal. It feels like it always has been. I like being connected to something like that. It makes me remember what’s important in my life; what I’m connected to.

That’s why I’m a groupie for Northern Tool + Equipment. I’m always interested in what they’re doing and what they have to say. I love going to their site and seeing what’s happening there. I’m consistently drawn in.

Voice the personal story of your business. Inspire people – give them something personal to connect to. The groupies will start showing up.

Make your presence felt.


What’s Your Story?
Do you know the history of your brand? Was it’s path a straight line or were there some twists and turns? Can you describe the time before it existed? Were there specific events leading up to the IDEA of it? Why it was conceived? Who created your brand and why are they unique? What did it do that no one else was doing at the time? Was it popular immediately, or did customers need to warm up to it? How did it initially serve people? Is is still functioning in that way, or is it different now?

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