Saturday, March 26, 2011

While I was on the West Side.

Of course I stopped into Zabar's, perhaps the greatest delicatessen, food and housewares emporium in the world. I've been stopping into Zabar's for nearly 40 years and during that time the store has constantly expanded--both its size and what it offers--and constantly gotten better.

You can learn a lot about marketing from going into Zabar's. You can really see how--from an integration point of view it all works together.

First, you have a strong brand. A brand that has been consistent and consistently innovative for more than half a century. Then you have the store itself. They constantly "broadcast" specials over the loud speakers. These, because they are targeted, well-written and timely. These "broadcast" announcements are enhanced by "print." In this case, hand-written signs that describe the delicacies being sold. Then come the little tables with people handing out samples. Sampling drives word-of-mouth. You see people and hear people smacking their lips.

My guess is Zabar's earns more per square foot than probably any store in creation. Anytime of the day or night, they're mobbed. People "advocate" for the brand in the form of carrying their shopping bags, toting their totes. I have a baseball cap with a Zabar's logo. When my father was alive, he'd drop by on every visit to the city.

Advertising isn't a complex business, though we have layers and layers of people with titles that make it so.

Part of me thinks that the best training for a career in our business might be learned from a place that sells lox.


Sean Peake said...

Try the Delice de Bourgogne—a triple creme. And if you're worried about all that fat, wash it down with a fine red.

Anonymous said...

George, unfortunately whole foods earns more per sq foot ( my brother is in the business) but loved yr post anyway if only for the personal history.