HEB & Meatballs
June 24, 2009
We had a group of students come yesterday that were all first generation students or low income. They were one of the best well-behaved big groups that have come through in a while. Something within me loves to be with those kind of kids. They are so real and open about how they feel. With them, there are no false pretenses or stained-glass masquerades like our buddies Casting Crowns sing about. The director of this program told me that I held their attention better than every other tour. That’s probably because every other tour stuck to the script and bored them to tears. These kids haven’t seen colleges before. Do you really think they care about ebscohost or other research databases? No. Because I skipped the dumb stuff and stuck to what was relevant for them, we spent a good 15 extra minutes in COBA just sitting and talking through their questions. I bet others don’t take that time. Even people in our office were doubtful that any of them would be remotely close to coming here. I feel so strongly about us treating them just as well as the families from Highland Park who have 80 demands that we immediately cater too. They deserve just as much attention and quality we give others. Even if only 1 comes it is worth it to me.
The embarrassing thing about their visit is the miscommunication in my head. The organization that they came with was called the HEB Talent Search. I just didn’t understand why the grocery store HEB had a low income program where they searched for models and dancers. Alright, I guess. The entire day right up until the very end I really believed that this group came from the grocery chain. Who knew HEB also stood for Hurst, Euless, Bedford? Apparently no one besides people from DFW. Give me a break…
So I started reading Seth Godin’s book “Meatball Sundaes”. Disgusting title but pretty good book. What’s frustrating about it is the amount of evidence that the old way of marketing is gone. New marketing takes guts and creativity and there is no formula. I guess it is a fun challenge but also scary as crap for someone just starting out. All he talks about is how companies have to change their entire infrastructure and business plan in order to market to todays society. How do you think a CEO would like to hear that from an entry-level marketer? I’m sure that would go over well.
The idea is that companies use meatballs that they have used forever (tv, radio, etc) and just sprinkle some new cool stuff on top (twitter, SEO, etc). What you get is a meatball sundae and indegestion. Great, so how do you start making ice cream instead? That’s the frustrating part.
Speaking of meatball sundaes, I tweetled about this but there is just more to say. Brew.net, what are you thinking? For one, is the “dot” in your name silent? If not, do you realize you named your coffee shop a hair color? That was the first mistake. The second was your choice of cups. People are spending good amounts of time in your shop. Do you really thank them by putting their latte in the generic walmart cups they probably have at home? Classy. Taylor ordered a cream soda drink…his came in a clear solo cup. For real? I strongly suggest that you stop paying money for ugly hats that no one will buy and invest more in what your customers want. How about buying mugs to drink out of while they study or glass cups for your specialty cream sodas? My latte was good but there is power in presentation and you may have missed the boat on that one. I always have these thoughts about bad marketing…what better place to voice my opinions than my very own blog?! Match made in heaven.
The walmart cup is pictured below…
My dear friend emailed me tonight after finding this link. I love hearing from special old friends! Welcome to the rants of my blog, Daniel.