Lessons on personal branding from Ricky Gervais

Ricky Gervais delivered his fifth and final hosting of the Golden Globes ceremony last week, with a scabrous opening monologue that left the attending celebrities squirming in their seats. Gervais’ opening diatribe wasn’t kind to his targets, but we knew what to expect from his previous performances.

He reminded the audience of his job to entertain and prepared the stars in attendance for the worst, with a clear let’s have a laugh at your expense. No one cares about movies anymore. No one goes to cinema, no one really watches network TV. Everyone is watching Netflix. Gervais capacity to offend great swathes of an audience with a single utterance is pretty much unrivalled.

But the emperor has no clothes, and with a few pointed jokes, Gervais pierced their collective delusion, exposing the hypocrisy of Hollywood. He has retained the brutality and joke-writing brilliance of his early work, but applied it to socio-politics over celebrity, Gervais is the appalling, apocalyptic comic-poet our era demands.

The criticism levelled at Gervais is that he’s turned into – or perhaps always was – his Office alter ego David Brent, which at least goes to show what an unforgettable comic monster Brent was in the first place, a management busybody with delusions of charisma, fronting a pioneering cringe comedy and still-brilliant mockumentary nailing the pettiness and desolation of workplace life.

We’ve got a little bit of David Brent in all of us. We all sometimes mistake popularity with respect. We all want to be liked. We all wonder whether our perception of ourselves is exactly the same as the rest of the world’s. And we all want to feel that we belong.

The creator and star of The Office, Extras, Derek, and the critically acclaimed recent hit After Life, Gervais has won countless awards. His hit series The Office is the most successful British comedy of all time, shown in more than 90 countries, which he co-wrote and co-directed with friend and collaborator, Stephen Merchant. For me, his film Life on the Road and TV series Idiot Abroad are timeless, comedy classics.

His words flow and fizz with vocal energy. He does not cultivate gravitas and doesn’t much mind if you disagree with him. He is an intellectual hedonist, his big idea is that life should be pleasurable. Rather than trying to persuade, he seeks to infect an audience with his enthusiasm: isn’t this interesting? He’s almost an anthropologist.

This seems not to have been an ideological commitment so much as an expression of contrarianism, extracting glib homilies from the messy stuff of real life – if Gervais were to be parachuted into the Antarctic, it would take roughly twenty minutes before the penguins were lining up to peck his lights out.

It is true that he sometimes presses his stories too militantly and can jam together materials too disparate to cohere, but for the most part the work of his many imitators attests to how hard it is to do what he does. You have to be able to write lucid, propulsive prose capable of introducing ideas within a magnetic field of narrative. Above all, you need to acquire an extraordinary eye for the sharp angle or the deceptively trivial incident to blow things up out of all proportions.

Gervais is playfully intelligent, in a time of antagonistic debate and polarised opinion, he has something to say and is worth listening too. If you had to identify the comedian who captures the moment of today, it would be Gervais. In a world of literalists high on certainty and short on humour, I value his teasing, sprite-like presence more than ever. If he does not embody the zeitgeist, maybe that’s because the zeitgeist has grown so pompous.

Either way, the size of his audiences suggests that even in the era of taking sides, many people positively enjoy his stepping over the line, provocation, picking targets and outrage culture, in and out of parody too fast at times to keep up. His message is simple but stark: speak the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth — from the head or heart on your terms. Deliver a message or something creative that isn’t prettied up and restrained and it’ll have a far greater impact.

Gervais’ personal attributes and characteristics have created a definitive ‘personal brand’, a deliberate strategy, making his mark, making himself memorable and standing out from the crowd. Creating a ‘personal brand’ is a positive way to stand out in an increasingly competitive startup world. The term ‘personal brand’ first appeared in August 1997 in an article by management guru and author Tom Peters, who wrote, We are CEOs of our own companies: Me Inc. To be in business today, our most important job is to be head marketer for the brand called You.

Personal branding is simply the way in which individuals differentiate themselves and stand out from a crowd by identifying and articulating their value, and then leveraging with consistent behaviour. In this way, individuals can enhance their recognition as experts to establish reputation and credibility – ‘it’s what they are famous for’.

Let’s look at this in a little more using Gervais as the exemplar, how do you build a This is me brand to help you be memorable and help answer the customer’s question Why should I buy from you?

Be first with a purpose A personal brand is synonymous with your reputation, the way others see you. Are you famous for? What do you represent? What do you stand for? What thoughts come to mind as soon as someone hears your name? People recognise your name, what you offer and what you’re about. It answers the question how does working with me help them? Like Gervais, entrepreneurs have a purpose and ‘make the main thing, the main thing’.

Live in your learning zone The world is changing fast, make sure you are constantly learning and identify an area where you will be better than others, don’t be a ‘Jack of all trades’. Concentrate on your expertise. Once you have identified and developed this, make the most of it by seeking out opportunities to demonstrate your skills. Don’t be afraid to tell people about what you’ve created. Not to boast, but to demonstrate if you’ve genuinely innovated, people are will want to know about it.

It takes time to build your personal brand. If you fail to stay relevant, all of your effort will be wasted. If you’re not growing, then you’re stagnating, and that’s the last thing you want to do as an entrepreneur.

Focus on the things that make you different What makes you, you? Concentrate on the positives on both personal as well as professional level. Consider the way you react in everyday situations, whether it’s the way you communicate, your creativity, or the way you think and process information. Become really, really good at what differentiates you, or be so good they can’t ignore you – there is only one Ricky Gervais!

Make yourself visible This does not mean claiming undue credit or being anything less than humble, it means focusing on having a high-impact that will likely have visible results, knocking them for six and sharing the results. Blow your own trumpet, but be consistent – every move you make either reinforces your brand or violates it. Also participate in larger conversations and encourage those around you, it’s less about broadcasting yourself per se, and more about reinforcing your personal brand.

Work harder than everyone else Nothing is a substitute for hard work. Look around: How many people are working as hard as they can? Very few. The best way to stand out is to out-work everyone else. It’s also the easiest way, because you’ll be the only one trying. Gervais is a great example of this, now approaching twenty years of relentless creativity, huge work ethic and productivity.

Keep a clear head Amidst the hullaballoo and the fury of the frantic noise, pressure of the event and the audience reaction at the Golden Globes, Gervais kept a clear head. In the heat of the moment, he cannot get caught up in the intensity and lose focus on his performance, which is an important skill to have as an entrepreneur. Entrepreneurs have to be both mentally alert and hold bundles of mental toughness, which helps to hone their mentality. It’s what makes an entrepreneur see the opportunity when others around them can’t see the way ahead.

Enjoy the oxygen Top rugby players use a technique whereby they take 30-second breaks when the game action is paused. During those brief seconds, they are exhorted to enjoy the oxygen. This teaches them how to breathe using their diaphragm, not their lungs, and to lower their heart rate during breaks in play when on the pitch. You can see in Gervais’ performances he too uses this technique, pausing to enjoy the audience reaction and to reground himself, reaffirming his personal brand persona.

Keep moving forward Like Gervais, entrepreneurial success is heavily dependent upon skill and the perfection of the craft, but also reinvention. Anyone can be broken physically by a relentless challenge. It’s hard to keep moving forward when you don’t see visible signs of success, it becomes as much a battle of wills and mental endurance as it does a battle of stamina, strength, and skill. Reinvention is key, applying learning and a focus on the next gig.

Building a personal brand is about developing an understanding of your true self, and then sharing that with the world. Take your mask off and don’t be afraid of being vulnerable as you develop this. If you want to stand out from the crowd, be yourself. The more you try to be like other people, the more you will recede into the mass of the background noise.

Take note of Ricky Gervais’ personal brand, don’t be afraid to let your own character show in what you do and in how you present yourself. Sure, you won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, but you’re not in this to win a popularity contest, but to stand out from the crowd and connect to a target audience.

Startup lessons in branding…from Amazon & Bovril

In 1937, the world’s first-ever live football match was transmitted by the BBC. Arsenal faced Arsenal Reserves in a training match at Highbury, the only ground the Beeb could reach from their Alexandra Palace studio with their big roll of cable.

Eighty-two years on, Amazon joined the fray. Enter Jeff Bezos, the man who sold the world back to itself in cardboard boxes whilst overseeing the digital logistics of the human race. Amazon Prime will stream its initial package of twenty Premier League games across December. Coverage started last week, bookended by a simulcast of five games on Wednesday night and then six more on Boxing Day.

A mob-handed posse of 43 talking punditry heads have been hired in a reassuringly glossy package, underminned only by the prospect of substandard UK streaming speeds. Amazon is nothing if not a mind-bogglingly expert cash-raking machine.  With the entry of a third major broadcaster of Premier League football, it remains a late-stage capitalist play offering a macabre dislocated digital dance of choice.

Amazon is now a ubiquitous household brand, offering much more than ordering books online. In talking with a friend last week, it was clear she has a personal relationship with Alexa, the voice service that powers Amazon’s Echo. She talks to Alexa about the weather, films, restaurant reservations and the temperature she wants the house to be. She acknowledges that the more she interacts with Alexa, the more she buys on Amazon, from electronics, deals of the day, to everyday household items.

Alexa, in concert with Prime, has become more indispensable to her life than the mobile phone. Through Alexa, Echo and Prime, Amazon is creating an on-demand, personalised, signature experience and is becoming the world leader in delivering on its brand promise: the Earth’s biggest selection and most customer-centric company.

Amazon is betting that Alexa and Echo will drive consumers to interact with, and ultimately purchase more, with Amazon and Prime. The smarter Alexa becomes at knowing your needs, preferences and behaviours, the better she is at delivering a seamless experience – and the better experience she delivers, the more indispensable she becomes to consumers’ lives. Imagine the levels of customer loyalty it could achieve.

We are living in an on-demand world, led by companies such as Uber, Deliveroo and Airbnb, but Amazon is redefining what my experience should be. Customer obsession is one of the hallmarks of brands that stand apart from the rest – think Apple too – but Amazon is the brand I am obsessing over right now.

So how can a startup build a brand like Amazon? Ok, you don’t have deep pockets, so let’s take a step back, way back, and look at how a foodstuff brand forged its own market position and reputation, and combine the learnings from traditional product marketing with today’s digital tools.

Bovril is the brand to learn from – yes, that thick, black, glossy, meat-based extract – enjoyed with butter on toast, or with hot water as a beef tea. It has been an iconic brand for over a century. Now owned by Unilever, it’s been in our kitchen cupboard for donkeys’ years, with its reassuringly heavy cauldron-shaped jar, chunky red lid and no-nonsense red label.

Just over a century ago, a revolution took place in the food industry, when the boom in urban population fuelled a need for the mass production of affordable, non-perishable foodstuffs in cans and jars. Advances in processing and preservation of foodstuffs saw the emergence of branded convenience foods, marketed as nourishing and nutritious.

Bovril was one of these, created by John Lawson Johnston, a C19th Edinburgh butcher with an interest in dietetics. Shortly after emigrating to Canada, Johnson won a contract to supply one million cans of beef to Napoleon III’s Army, following their defeat due to starvation during the 1871 siege of Paris. The challenge was that he couldn’t source enough beef.

So Johnston produced an extract made by heating carcasses of cattle and reducing the liquids that came off into a residue mixed with powdered dried meat – and Johnston’s Fluid Beef was supplied. He subsequently tweaked the recipe, and in 1886 Bovril was born.

The name Bovril was an inspired name, marrying together meat, myth and magic. The first part of the word ‘bo’ comes from the Latin for Ox and the second part ‘vril’ from Edward Bulwer-Lytton’s science fiction novel, The Coming Race, in which the Vril-ya were an underground people with awesome powers.

Bovril hit the sweet spot for Victorian consumers. Amid the temperance and health movements, it was promoted as a constitution-boosting, meaty superfood, a drink that was alcohol-free but not namby-pamby. It had a dark, macho look and a meaty, macho smell. Where is Bovril today? It’s still on the supermarket shelves but in many homes the squat black bottle slumbers at the back of the kitchen cupboard. The brand is owned by food giant Unilever and sales tick over at a modest three and a half million jars every year.

So on one side of this blog Bovril, an established brand with heritage and longevity. The contrast couldn’t be starker to Amazon, a tech behemoth rampaging its way seemingly into any market it wants using tech and data as their go-to-market weapon, a company less than twenty-five years old.

Start-ups must balance their focus on their target market, while also pushing an innovation edge. As a traditional brand, how do you innovate (experiment) in new areas while maintaining strong execution on your core business? If you’re a start-up, your creativity, agility, and risk-taking are your hallmarks but you have to invest on building a brand to trust too. So let’s combine the marketing and brand building lessons of Bovril and Amazon, what are the key six lessons here?

1. Segmentation, targeting, positioning 

Amazon uses demographic and psychographic data to segment its markets, based on actual purchase behaviour, with micro-level segmentation on each individual customer, enabling them to convert web site visitors into long-term, high-value repeat customers.

From the start, Bovril was heavily advertised through campaigns that tapped into the mood of the public. It was British and the company worked hard to make sure it was a food of choice of the army – it was patriotic and nutritious. Bovril was cannily marketed as a food that could make the infirm well, the elderly strong, and the young healthy.

Takeaway: Be clear with your purpose and connect with people as individuals, crafting a brand message that resonates with your vision.

2. Customer analysis

Amazon’s target market is people who use e-commerce portals and comfortable with online shopping. The majority of their customers have busy lives and find it convenient to purchase online rather than visiting a physical outlet, to save time and money.

Bovril became a staple for thousands of football supporters up and down the country, gulping down steaming hot cups of the stuff, easing the chill of a winter’s afternoon and sometimes the pain of conceding a goal. After all, it’s what the good old Thermos flask was invented for. This widened their customer base and generated repeat business from habits – every Saturday afternoon.

Takeaway: Answer one simple question – What’s the special thing only YOU can do that your customers will miss out on if you never existed? Understand your customers’ problems and how you can solve them, then ensure you provide enough touchpoints for repeat purchases, building customer retention and loyalty.

3. Distribution strategy

Amazon understands that the most important thing customers want is the quick delivery of products ordered, and has more than 55 fulfilment centres in the UK – this does not include Amazon’s new ‘under-the-tent’ strategy of using existing vendor warehouse space for consumer-packaged goods to quickly serve customers. Their strategy of improving their distribution network enables Amazon to continually connect quickly with more customers as they scale.

In Bovril’s case, by 1888, over 3,000 pubs, grocers and chemists were selling the product, and it became so popular that an electric advertising sign was erected in London’s Piccadilly Circus in 1909. However, advertising was only part of the story. The company needed to source beef extract and protein, which meant working with ranchers overseas, with shipping lines and hundreds of retailers. The Bovril company was adept at building networks with people of influence.

Takeaway: Ensure your startup has clear routes to catalysing a market, enabling rapid, simple and quality connections that reach both your customer audience and suppliers. Create a brand promise and experience, create a real tone of voice that energies your network.

4. Build Brand equity

From being an e-book provider to emerging as the second largest e-commerce company in the world, Amazon has steadily made its brand stronger. Amazon broadcasts using television commercials and billboards, online advertising networks and search engine marketing. Bezos had this in mind when creating the company, deciding that it should start with an ‘a’.

For Bovril, inventor Johnston’s also enjoyed publicity – on Christmas Day 1902, near the South Pole, Captain Scott and Ernest Shackleton supped on a cup of Bovril after a chilling march.

Advertising also connected Bovril to the fashionable and popular physical culture movement by getting sporting celebrities to endorse the brand. One of these, the world’s strongest man at the turn of the C20th, an Adonis-like star called Eugen Sandow, had developed his rippling muscles so that his body resembled a classical sculpture which he showed off to enormous crowds in the music halls – claiming Bovril game him the physique.

Bovril as a product has hit a few blips, with horse-meat scandals during the late 1800s, and in 1906 sales of Bovril dipped as result of public horror at the appalling human and animal conditions in the massive Chicago meat processing plants, whilst the BSE crisis in the 2000s also hit demand.

Takeaway: Build your brand reputation, and illustrate for engagement. Differentiate yourself and create your image – but go beyond a logo.

5. Product

Amazon initially started with books, and became the largest book seller in the world. Now, it is a multi-product gregarious feeder, satisfying consumer demand for almost everything.

In 2004, Unilver removed beef ingredients from the Bovril formula, in response to the growing popularity of vegetarianism, religious dietary requirements, and public concerns about bovine spongiform encephalopathy (‘BSE’). In 2006 they reversed that decision and reintroduced beef ingredients to the Bovril formula.

Takeaway: Great brands have great products, they stand for something that they extend as a ‘promise’, and they’re consistent about their values in everything they do. Keep your product thinking agile and relevant to future markets.

6. Promotion

Amazon can be seen to rely on the best source of promotion there is – word of mouth. People telling others about the site, or mentioning it in a positive way is a sure way to have new future customers. We all marvel at the next day delivery – even on a Sunday. While Bovril used to be marketed using symbolism of beef, today its advertising taps into Britishness as symbolised by energetic outdoor pursuits in all weathers.

Takeaway: Show your identity, and be memorable. Effective branding builds reputation and trust. Determine who you want to be, create a narrative, be authentic but defy expectations.

Bezo’s forward-thinking strategy makes Amazon one of the world’s top brands, maintaining the customer-centric concept from its original foundations in every part of the company and its business model. It is the entrepreneurial eye for customer innovation, and scaling the execution, that are Bezo’s legacy for other entrepreneurs to admire.

For Bovril, reflect that people don’t necessarily buy just what your product is. They’re buying into your story, the values you have and the experience you will give them. You’re not just buying a foodstuff that they’ve had for years, they’re buying interactions with you.

Entrepreneurial learning journey: fresh fruit & veg markets of Antigua

For my second entrepreneurial learning journey blog in Antigua, I wandered down to the Saturday morning Farmers’ Market in the capital city St. John’s. The stalls burst with an eye-catching rich assortment of colourful fruits and vegetables, including mangoes, coconuts, okra, papaya, guava, tamarind, breadfruit, sugar cane and the island’s most famous fruit, the black pineapple. The market is a place you must visit when in Antigua.

The market is opposite West Street Bus Station and opens from 5.30am in the morning. The red-roofed new public market complex on Valley Road is the size of a modern supermarket. Inside, it’s a step back to a simpler time where vendors display an enormous array of freshly harvested foods from overflowing stalls. You have your produce weighed on an old-fashioned copper scales too, for that true market experience.

Local vendors from all parts of the island come to sell a wide variety of goods. The market tends to get crowded, so it’s best to arrive early in the day to make the most of the vendor variety. Amid the stands’ bright colours that same bustling energy of the shoppers crowd reflects the vibrant Caribbean lifestyle of the island. You will be astounded at the crowds of local villagers arriving with fruit and vegetables to sell, and empty shopping baskets to fill.

There is also a smaller craft market attached to the main market where you can find locally made arts and crafts, whilst fish is sold across the road in its own market, again the best time to go is Saturday morning (as early as possible). You can purchase local rum, Cavalier, and they also have the regular dark rum, white rum, and rum punch.

I’ve found those manning the market stalls to be almost unfailingly friendly. Some may look at you sleepy-eyed, but most are happy to inform you that the rose-coloured fruit you’re holding is a dragon fruit, or that the label-free bottle filled with roots and rum is actually an island aphrodisiac.

The vendors jostle with good humour for your attention by showing you some of the local fruits and vegetables they’ve brought along. If you don’t recognise them just ask, the vendors are only too willing to explain how to eat and cook the food, so it’s a great way to meet people and learn about Antiguan cooking.

Brightly coloured fruits that look as though they arrived via alien spaceship, bunches of dried herbs guaranteed to cure all ills and a thousand aromas, from the briny tang of fresh-caught sea creatures to the pungent assault of fresh cilantro, fill the air. Wandering through the Antiguan market is full tilt overload for the senses. It’s why experienced travellers always make time for a market visit.

The market is is also a great place to sample the local cuisine, with small food stalls or even full-fledged restaurants providing regional fare for a non-touristy price. While they may not be the most sparkling establishments, they serve up the flavoursome dishes locals grew up on, from scotch bonnet hot callaloo soup to garlic fused sticky dumplings.

For self-starters with a passion for selling and a desire to get back as much as they put into a business, starting a market stall is a serious option. Don’t be mistaken for thinking a market stall is below your entrepreneurial dreams, some of Britain’s greatest entrepreneurs started by staking high and selling cheap in a day-to-day selling activity – Tesco, Matalan, Innocent Drinks and Marks & Spencer are all examples of brands which have grown from simple foundations on the market stall:

  • Tesco was founded in 1919 by Jack Cohen from a market stall in London’s East End, where he began selling surplus groceries. He left the Royal Flying Corp at the end of the Great War and used his demob money to buy the first day’s stock. Cohen made a profit of £1 from sales of £4 on his first day. The Tesco brand appeared five years later when he bought a shipment of tea from a Mr T. E Stockwell. The initials and letters were combined to form TES-CO and in 1929 Cohen opened the flagship Tesco store in Burnt Oak, North London.
  • The son of a Liverpool docker, John Hargreaves left school at 14 and started his retail career selling Marks & Spencer seconds from a market stall. He opened his first Matalan store in 1985, after a visit to the United States convinced him of the huge growth potential for edge-of-town discount sheds.
  • Rich, Adam and Jon, who met at university in the early 1990s, went on a snowboarding holiday, during which they decided to stop talking about starting a business and actually start one. They sell their first smoothies from a stall at a music festival in London. A sign above the stall reads Should we give up our jobs to make these smoothies? and people were asked to throw their empties into bins marked Yes or No. Yes wins. Innocent Drinks is born.
  • A stall at Kirkgate Market in Leeds, saw Michael Marks open his first Penny Bazaar stall in 1884. Today an M&S heritage stall and coffee shop is located right beside the famous M&S clock in the 1904 Kirkgate Market building. It’s amazing what a penny can do. Don’t ask the price, it’s a penny was Michael Marks’ first slogan. It couldn’t be any simpler and both his idea and hard work soon paid off, but it was when Michael went into partnership with Tom Spencer in 1894 that the company we all know really started to take shape.

When it comes to selling on a stall, the day job varies enormously depending on what you’re punting and what your ambitions are. Fishmongers, grocers and florists get up at unholy hours to catch the earliest trade. For others, it’s a lifestyle thing. Some of these will only trade part-time or even just on a Saturday. Observing the Antiguans on their stalls, I noted a few standout skills and talents that any entrepreneur needs, whatever their trading style:

  • A passion for what you are creating and selling
  • In depth knowledge of your goods and industry, and understanding of the competition
  • A snappy sales technique built around good communication skills
  • Ability to rise early and work long hours
  • The all-important ability to haggle without putting off potential buyers

So what are the entrepreneurial learnings I picked up from the food sellers in the Antiguan market?

Live your ambition The early bird catches the worm – get there early, get set up and be prepared. Drill down to your absolute aspirations and lock them in. Then be sure to execute on them flawlessly so that customers learn exactly what you stand for and come to trust that you deliver.

Be creative in your selling Apply creativity in all aspects of your business model. Innovation shouldn’t be limited to new products and offerings. One fruit stall offered different bundles of fruit and veg in a smart selling and pricing strategy, the ‘3 for 2’ type offers we see in the supermarkets at home but in several different combinations.

Stay Fresh Keeping your business model as fresh as your fruit by leading the charge to change the shopping experience. Stalls had ‘offers of the day’, or introduced product as ‘fresh today, picked from the ground at 430am’. Some had the soils around the vegetables or tree branches and leaves with the fruit, creating authenticity, natural and interesting stall displays for their products.

Be smart Take customers on a journey to keep your offering new and different. One stall had full tasting offerings of their product, the classic ‘try before you buy’. Initially I wasn’t buying, but a sample tempted me and created new demand and secured a purchase.

Be quirky Create eye-catching product names. One stall had visually stunning photos, with product descriptions like ‘The half moon, silky and smoky’ and ‘Nature rejoice, chasing childhood memories.’ This leads to a natural curiosity, which draws customers in.

Provide product information One stall had hand-written product notes pasted on the box in front of each product, information about the product, harvest location, ecology and farmer biographies that caught my eye. A simple way of providing customer engagement.

Connect with your customers as people – make it personal– connect, talk to people – tales make sales, find common ground and relate to people; if people want a robot, they will go to a supermarket. The personality, character and friendliness of the stallholders created an experience, we talked and engaged as people, not as suppliers-customers.

The personal one-to-one interaction with the stallholders is as important as the product. I had one fruit seller who took my order, then he spent just two extra minutes doing something special.

He transformed himself into an artist. He drew pictures on the paper bags of the product – not just childlike images, but clever pencil sketches. In those few extra minutes, he became remarkable, and memorable, he made me feel like I was his only customer that morning. It takes 99% of the time you spend just to be average. The remarkable stuff can happen in 1% of your time – in a flash.

Antigua’s market is set around a cobblestone promenade where fresh fruit, vegetables, meat and fish stalls of every flavour, culture and genre exist side by side as vendor stallholders ply their trade with potential customers as they pass-by. You can stroll, shop, eat, laugh, wander, wonder and explore it all, a hub of creativity and a marketplace, a festival of entrepreneurial life.