What do you do when the big boys own all the shelf space?

One approach is to build a virtual shelf, one person at a time. That’s what Joe Vukson is doing.

I met Vukson via Twitter earlier this year after I saw a press release about a new runner ID product. I tweeted to a friend that I didn’t understand how the product was any different from what was already on the market. Vukson chimed in, asking me what I meant. So we started tweeting back and forth as I tried to explain that I didn’t see any competitive differentiation. (I was wrong, but more on that in a minute.)

It wasn’t until the conversation had run its course that I learned that 1BandID is his product.

The Virtual Shelf Works

1BandID has a competitive differentiator: Vukson himself. In addition to engaging with people one-on-one, the budding entrepreneur moderates an on-point bimonthly Twitter chat (#trichat) and manages an active Facebook page. And he’s a runner and triathlete, so he’s walking the walk as he builds his community.

The big boys may own the storefront space, but who would you rather buy from? I’m sending people to 1BandID–because I know Joe.

Disclosure: Vukson sent me the red 1BandID pictured above. The best part: my running motto, “Forward Motion,” etched in there with all the contact info. But I hope you know that free swag does not influence what I choose to write.