Entrepreneurs frank about business

By: Jonathan S. Hogue ~Opinions & Editorials Editor

Photo courtesy of Xavier Hot Dogs | Professor Leslie Rasmussen welcomed Xavier Hot Dogs to speak on Oct. 5.

Norwood’s favorite entrepreneurial team Xavier Hot Dogs took its skills from Cleanay Avenue to the classroom. Professor Leslie Rasmussen invited the team to speak during her Principles of Strategic Communication class. The goal was to discuss Xavier Hot Dog’s communication strategy, outreach efforts and ways the group differentiates their brand from other food vendors.

Xavier Hot Dogs, known for its easygoing approach to business, commented that this is not a serious venture, but something created to have fun. “We don’t take this too seriously,” commented Alex Tilford. Scott Stratford, the self-proclaimed marketer of the group, believes that this is also an opportunity to connect with Xavier students. “We market our product with a story because each interaction is different and affects clients in a new way.”

Xavier Hot Dogs also discussed ways in which students can engage customers. Their success is due in large part to a strategic communication strategy that utilizes social media, has a diverse marketing strategy and connects with customers on a personal level. Redmond Millerick told the class that as their consumers got to know the team and respect the business, they became Xavier Hot Dog’s biggest marketers.

“A majority of the first two or three weeks, we had jerks criticizing our business. As we grew, our customers defended us against hecklers and became loyal patrons,” Millerick said. “We now receive direct messages via Twitter to stay open later to keep up with demand,” Jack Carey said.

The group has catered events at off-campus events and has received offers from “legitimate Cincinnati business leaders” to invest in their venture, but money is not what dictates their work. Carey, Millerick, Stratford and Tilford told the class that business is successful when people work and have fun together. “We do Xavier Hot Dogs because we love it. It’s just that simple,” Stratford said. Professor Rasmussen said she hopes that their presentation will give students insight on how to better use their communication talents on Xavier’s campus and beyond.