- Real Estate
- Food & Drink
March 19, 2019
By Mick Garry, for SiouxFalls.Business
Diamond Mowers began in Sioux Falls almost 20 years ago with eight employees.
Not all of the years since then have been easy ones, owner Bill Doyle will tell you, but the business now employs 170 people.
That’s its own kind of endorsement for how the company has found a niche in manufacturing industrial mowers and mulchers.
But recently, Diamond Mowers picked up another endorsement. A big one.
Hall of Fame quarterback Brett Favre, who not only likes Doyle’s company, but also actually uses the line of equipment himself, agreed to appear in a video promoting the products.
It might sound hokey to some, but the Doyle family history with the Green Bay Packers, the small-town NFL franchise Favre is most closely associated with, is woven into the survival of the business. Bringing in a spokesman like Favre, then, made perfect sense on both a professional and personal level.
“There have been a lot of tough financial times for me in business,” Doyle said. “I’m working with my dad, and it was cool that even when business times were real rugged we still had the Packers to talk about. That was always a positive. I mean that. When things are tough, you can’t always focus on the business. You need to talk about some other stuff. And we had the Packers. They are very dear to my heart.”
Doyle’s father started a company called Tiger Mowers in the 1960s and sold it in the 1980s. He retained a dealership for the brand until the 1990s, when a publicly held company bought it from the owners. Uncomfortable with the direction of the firm after the ownership change, the Doyles moved on. Five years later, Bill Doyle started his own manufacturing company and called it Diamond Mowers.
The firm sells equipment used for mowing ditches and clearing brush with an expansive line of hydraulic products used with tractors, skid-steers and excavators. It landed on the Inc. 5000 list of fastest-growing companies in 2017 with its 60 percent three-year revenue growth. At that time, there were 105 employees.
Popular with municipalities, contractors and private landowners, Doyle has emphasized maintaining a distinctive rapport with his customers while also manufacturing a distinctive line of products.
“I’ve used the statement before that customer service is not a department, it’s everyone’s job,” Doyle said. “What that comes down to for me is that everything is not going to be perfect. There are going to be problems. Things are going to happen. Things are going to go wrong. And if you’re willing to take care of a problem immediately, the customer feels a lot better about the company. That’s always been a huge focus.”
As Doyle’s father told him, “It’s easy to sell something to somebody once.” The trick then is to keep them coming back again and again.
Helping them out on that count is Favre, who serves as a perfect down-home pitchman for products suited for land-clearing and the like.
“If you want something that does the job, works and, as far as I can tell, is maintenance-free, this is the best that we could find,” Favre says to the camera while leaning up against the skid-steer attachment he uses for clearing brush and small trees on his 465-acre property in Mississippi. “We were very impressed. They were very good with service, and I can’t say enough about how impressed I am with the machine.”
Favre pauses for a moment at that point and then adds:
“That’s the most important aspect of it – it works.”
The effectiveness of the Diamond Mowers equipment played a role in the former quarterback’s willingness to consent to have a camera crew come to his property and tape an interview in the rain of Mississippi.
Favre drove up to the site in a pickup truck. No surprise there. And he greeted the Sioux Falls folks just as predictably. Wes Eisenhauer, a Sioux Falls photographer, was part of the crew that day.
“He drove in and got out and said hi to everyone – he said he was Brett Favre,” said Eisenhauer, who was responsible for capturing the endearing rainy scenes that accompany the interview. “We miked him up, we figured out where we were going to shoot it, and we did the interview. In those kinds of situations, you really don’t know what to expect, but he was very cooperative.”
Eisenhauer later joked that he would have traded his pay for an Instagram post of Favre throwing him a pass.
“I thought the fact that it poured down rain the entire time we were there made the piece stronger,” Eisenhauer said. “It added a cinematic spin to a brand endorsement.”
The posted video of the interview on the Diamond Mower website lasts about two minutes and unquestionably serves as a highlight in the family’s association with their favorite football team. Doyle’s grandfather had season tickets, and Doyle renews them every year.
More to the point, Diamond Mowers now can count a Hall-of-Famer as a teammate in a Sioux Falls success story predicated on developing repeat business.
“It’s been quite the roller coaster, but the company is doing really well,” Doyle said. “My goal is to keep growing, keep the people working for us in a job and also help out Sioux Falls.”
For these Green Bay Packers fans and family business owners, there is no better endorsement: Check out what the legendary Brett Favre has to say about Sioux Falls success story Diamond Mowers.