Another year…another book! As January winds to a close I’m already facing some deadlines for a new Nolo book I’m working on (!) which will focus on how small- to medium-sized local businesses can build a strong brand. I want to write this book because I think far too much information that’s out there about branding focuses on big businesses with mega budgets, and emphasizes an approach that’s way too advertising-heavy. Without revealing too much, let’s just say I’m going to write about a different way to go.

I’ll be profiling a lot of businesses in this book, so let me ask you: What are your favorite local businesses and why? I’m looking for the types of places people consider a “must go” for particular cities/towns. As in, if I told you I were visiting your town, you would say, “Oh, you absolutely MUST go to [insert name of fabulous local business here]!!!” If you can offer any insight into how they’ve successfully branded themselves, great. But if not, don’t worry (really, that’s my job as I research and write this book)–just tell me which places you just love.

Just post in the comments, and please include your city.

Thanks, and looking forward to hearing about your faves!


  • For ABQ, I’d go with Dion’s, The Range Cafe, or Flying Star for starters. I believe those started here or nearby, and they have all grown into significant local chains with unique identities.

  • There are few business owners better at marketing in Chicago than Billy Dec of Rockit Bar. Billy (actor and J.D.) takes full advantage of social media to develop a large following and promote his restaurants. He would make an interesting subject of a case study, if it already hasn’t been done.

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