Recently, I was presenting to the executive team at Web.com in Jacksonville, Florida. On my way back, I encountered Tony just outside the airport security check. My companion, Shashi Bellamkonda, and I were thoroughly impressed with Tony and got our shoes shined.
“Recently” was actually three months ago. And I’m still thinking about Tony’s Shoe Shine. In a marketing world that is increasingly complicated and layered with a very high pressure to produce results – I’d forgotten the immeasurable value of a beautiful story. Of personality – inimitable and real. The kind of marketing that big corporations pay elitist marketing people ridiculous sums of money for – and it’s geared towards humanizing nameless, faceless and tasteless companies. Well this, my friends, is the real thing.
Not only does Tony sing his own jingle, he’s got strong opinions on marketing and branding. He should know. He is the brand behind Tony’s Shoe Shine. He’s got a large family and his daughter, a delightful woman, works with him as well. He supports them with this business that has scores of regular customers. He knew the brand of boot I was wearing and the right type of polish to make it shine brightest.
I think I learned a lot from Tony that day. Remarkable personality, commitment and meeting a need will drive a business forward.