business news in context, analysis with attitude

Back before I took a few days off, we had a couple of stories about LL Bean, and how the company was focused on making long-term decisions that were in synch with the brand’s value and values proposition, and it prompted the following email from MNB reader Steve Workman:

It made me immediately think of the recent news on Chick Fil A opening a restaurant in the New Atlanta Falcons Mercedes-Benz Arena.  Of course they received a lot of press when they announced this a week or so ago, but most of it was negative.  “Why would they open a location in the stadium when they will be closed on Sunday’s, and therefore closed 7 out of the 8 home games for the Falcons this season?”  “I don’t understand what they are thinking!”  “Who’s smart idea was that?”

I’ll tell you who’s smart idea – The Marketing Department!  Just think of the press they received for that over the last few weeks.  Just think of the press they will get again once the Falcons play their first home Pre-season game, their first home game, in fact every home game!!

So Georgia is home for Chick Fil A, so that makes sense, and they have received and will continue to get Free Publicity, good and bad, from this move (Ever hear the old saying, any publicity is……), and oh by the way this stadium will be home to many other events that occur on every other day but Sunday, including Concerts, College Football, Tractor pulls, etc., etc., etc.  I can’t wait until this Stadium gets the Super Bowl in a few years, the absolute biggest single event each year, and Chick Fil A will NOT BE OPEN for that either…I can hear the press now…

So not only did Chick Fil A stick to their values, but they actually, in my humble opinion, will profit tenfold from this move.

I actually would disagree with you about the press coverage. I did a little research and read a couple of dozen stories about the issue, and thought that for the most part writers were pretty respectful of Chick fil A’s policy; if anything, they quibbled with the Falcons’ decision to have a closed-Sundays restaurant in their stadium, but most also pointed out that the venue will be opened other days for other events. I think that’s certainly a legitimate question worth asking … and in terms of Chick fil A’s position in the Atlanta community and its broader value proposition, the answer makes sense.

MNB reader Ray England had some thoughts about yesterday’s Eye-Opener, which took a look at the efforts put forth by HEB in the wake of Hurricane Harvey:

What a great story, one that illustrates that big companies are made of people, and more often than not; people with compassion.

I often get distressed when “Corporate America” is described with blanket statements that pretty much denigrate everyone involved as nothing more than greedy, self-serving profit mongers. I’m sure that like me, many of your readers have spent a lifetime in the grocery business and what HEB is doing today does not seem unusual. I spent close to thirty five years in the supermarket business and no matter where, whether it was tornados or ice storms in Texas, thirty inch overnight snowfalls in New England, or hurricanes in the Alabama and Florida gulf coast…EVERY supermarket retailer I worked for responded in the same way. Try to get to work, try to get stores open and try to get people what they need as soon as possible. Was it for accolades, or jacking up profits? No, it was to make sure folks could get what they needed as soon as possible.

You know, one of the marketing companies I’ve worked with over the years noted that we humans are hunters and gatherers by natures and supermarkets are where people come to provide food for themselves and their families. If companies that have that basic connection with their customers didn’t respond in the way HEB is…then what a world of hurt we’d all be in.
KC's View: