It’s pretty common for us to dismiss our own experiences, often labeling them as “boring” or “uninteresting.” Why would anyone want to read about my business’ history? I’m sure our story isn't much different.
It may or may not be, but the point is that it’s important. Sharing your story is a powerful way to invite current and potential customers into your world, giving them a deeper, more evolved perspective into who you are and why you make the decisions you do.
When people “know” your business, they’re more apt to support you. Find out how we helped Valley Queen Cheese Factory tell their story…
Back in 1989, we were asked to help Valley Queen Cheese Factory in Milbank, SD (VQ) reach out to their sources on their 60th anniversary to thank them for being great partner-producers. It’s one of few times Media One has been hired to buy more rather than sell more! Without their steady providers, and in the face of stiff competition, VQ would be nothing but history.
But what a history! Early discussions uncovered the truth that VQ’s founders—the two Alfreds—were actually headed for Montana, in search of a place to make cheese that reminded them of their home in Switzerland. Running low, the pair stopped for gas in Milbank, SD and were accosted by local farmers and sold on the idea of locating rather in northeastern South Dakota.
The rest of the story made history. Today, Valley Queen produces 140 million pounds of cheese annually for national brands.
The company drives an enormous dairy market on the northern plains, providing a steady market for producers, their families and workers, and serving as an anchor for the community and region. If you’ve ever had cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese in your home, you’ve likely enjoyed VQ’s outstanding delicacy!
I recently went up to help celebrate VQ’s 90th anniversary with my friends, second-generation operators Rudy Nef and Max Gonzenbach, now (mostly) retired. I recalled touring provider farms back in ’89 with Rudy and his dad, founder Alfred. Quietly understated and not much for the grandiose, Alfred couldn’t hold back his enthusiasm as we approached a particularly orderly dairy farm. “They’re good operators,” he enthused.
Don’t take your narrative lightly. It may be helpful to engage help in exploring a saga you are taking for granted. But don’t let your gracious modesty deny your current and future customers an endearing tale. You have a history. And as a successful business, you likely have a great story.