I scanned the local Business Journal this morning with a refreshed perspective on blogging. I’m fortunate to have Rachel Parker of Resonance Content Marketing patiently, but adroitly, guiding me through the hills and dales of content marketing. Her weekly marketing tip today, on blogging, was to tell stories.
So, with her advice in mind, I latched onto two non-related business stories that made “headlines” for me because of a leader’s passion for a ( or their ) business product or service.
The first was the news of Sid Bass investing in Blue Bell creameries with enough cash to get them back on their feet after their listeria outbreak back in March of this year. Blue Bell is privately owned so the Bass investment makes him a partner. I’m happy for “the little creamery in Brenham, Texas”. How many times have we said about an ordered desert of pie or chocolate cake … “boy, that would be even better with a scoop of Blue Bell (homemade vanilla, that is! ). Brand loyalty is an interesting subject. My take is that it is the result of both product quality and “contented cow” messaging, originally crafted for 33 years by the Lyle Metzdorf agency. Obviously the strong brand and customer loyalty resonated with Mr. Bass as well!
In the same issue, I was attracted to the leadership qualities of two men in a restaurant story. The interview featured Tony Vallone, founder and owner of Tony’s, the marquis Houston culinary establishment. The article headline: How Tony Vallone became the classiest restauranteur in Houston, covered his story from the perspective of business environment: food supply, changing tastes, local economy cycles, marketing, etc. The one question the interviewer asked that attracted my attention was: “what advice would you give an aspiring restauranteur? Tony: “It’s a hard business. To have fine dining at any level, you can’t do it from a social arena or from a golf course or from an office in Cleveland. You have to be in the arena yourself, eyes on. You have to watch your business. When you go to a restaurant and the owner’s there working, you’re generally in a good restaurant.”
The second person in the Tony story was Gerald Hines the commercial developer. Hines, a frequent early-days lunch and dinner customer, persuaded Tony to move his location to the-soon-to-be-developed Houston Galleria. He challenged Tony to “to refine, to get better, classier and would help with a new location that had to be really nice”.
The common thread: Bass, Hines, Vallone? A couple of traits great leaders have: belief/passion for a ( or their ) product or service and an “all-in” personal ( not from Cleveland ) hands-on commitment.
When leaders care … employees and customers will love you back. Heart matters!