A Cholesterol Problem (Issue 743)

In which we are reminded to develop our brands and our reputations around something memorable or the one thing we do best.

“I have a cholesterol problem,” my transplanted-from-Boston-to-Austin colleague said.IMG_4048

We’d eaten lunch from Fresa’s, a walk-up or drive-thru Mexican restaurant (he eating two tacos, me eating one), turned out of their parking lot past the long line at “Bacon to Go,” and we sat now, waiting for the traffic light to change at Barton Springs Road and 1st Street, gazing at Sandy’s, a bright yellow hamburger place proclaiming Frozen Custard and root beer.

“How come,” I asked?

“Well,” he said, “I like trying new places and, I figure, if you’re going to go to a new place, you should eat what they’re known for. And that’s the problem. Down here, what they’re known for is tacos, ribs, brisket, barbeque, sausage, and bacon. And now I have a cholesterol problem.”

“Huh,” I replied as we cruised up 1st Street and he pointed out some of his favorite haunts among several dozen food trucks, four Mexican restaurants, a vibrantly painted donut shop, two bakeries, and a burger place.

And, although one can get lost among South Austin food trucks and restaurants and many of my companion’s favorite haunts serve the usual – “chicken on ciabatta with BBQ sauce, tomato, pickle, and onion,” each one is distinctive for him because their street vibes tingle on one or two memorable dishes or activities that caught on and they’ve stuck with them.  That’s what they’re known for. That’s what brings people in. That’s what brings people back. And that’s what created his cholesterol problem.

And we need the same. If we sell ten or twenty or forty items, we need a clear answer to the diner’s question, “what’s great here, what are you best known for?”

So, when someone says, “Hey, we need to buy *****,” they will know what WE are known for and they will come to us.

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