A little over a year ago, Luling Main Street hauled a group of local business owners to Victoria, Tx for a seminar focusing on different techniques to help transform your business into a consumer destination. A variety of topics were discussed including creating a strategic vision with unique positioning, multi-level customer service, product spotlighting, and integrated marketing including tips on Social media and much more. With an overwhelming amount of ideas and information, we came back excited and ready to turn Luling into Central Texas’s version of Fredericksburg (throwing our own twist on it of course)!
Members of Main Street, with help from Economic Development and the Chamber of Commerce, worked together throughout the spring and summer months to bring together our business owners to network and review content that would help directly impact our businesses as a complete community. After some great meetings, we slowly dwindled because, well, people are busy.
Where am I going with all of this? Well, I’m constantly reminded of the great strides our town has made as I look out the window at my office observing the “traffic” on Pierce Street, drive through the “main red light” and see a full downtown parking lot, or hear stories of people’s love for our town when you say “I’m from Luling.” Just this last week while at a Doctor appointment in Austin, the nurse gave me a story about how her and her husband love to come down to Luling to visit the Farmer’s Market and then stroll through downtown visiting the restaurants and shops. In fact, they were planning to head down this past weekend. I don’t know about you, but I’m always impressed when people know where Luling is, much less have a story to tell about it as well. I guess that is a result of my small town mindset from growing up here and assuming that surely people didn’t know anything about Luling. Wrong!
Another focus of the seminar we attended was about creating an Omnipresent Mentality – keeping a destination business always present in a consumer’s mind. This is perhaps one of the strongest parts of marketing (and FREE I might add). You see, it is 12 times more likely to be believed when businesses are featured in articles rather than advertising in that same publication. Don’t quote me on that statistic, but that’s what I have in my notes from that day of learning.
I’ve been excited for Luling this past year as we’ve seen numerous examples of some of our businesses in the press. City Market has been recognized numerous times in “Top BBQ” articles and most recently, The Today Show flew some of City Market’s famous BBQ and employees up to New York City to be featured on National Television. That’s huge folks! And just a couple of weeks ago, I saw Luling Icehouse Pottery announce on their Facebook page that they have been featured in the August issue of Texas Highways magazine and some of their merchandise placed in the online gift store of Texas Highways.
But wait, that’s not all. Our decorated pump jacks have received love from Texas Monthly and Texas Highways. The Oil Museum has been building up steam with an increase in visitors and press from Texas Journey’s Magazine as well as some filming from the Military Channel. Of course, the press is always in our favor around Watermelon Thump time. This year the Washington Post did a seed spitting article during the festival which ran in Washington D.C. Press outside of Texas? In New York City and Washington D.C.? Let’s give ourselves a hand…our little town is famous folks!
“We have a strategic plan…it’s called doing things!” – Herb Kelleher
-Shelly Moore, Luling Main Street President
“It’s a Main Street Thing…” The Luling Newsboy & Signal [Luling, TX] 7 August 2014: Volume 135, No. 10