Recently, we dined at a restaurant that featured “Israeli Za’atar Marinated Pork Skewers on their menu and we were dumbstruck by the incongruence of such an offering. Was this a brazen attempt at political “incorrectness” as part of their brand strategy to be edgy? If not, they could have used the word "Mediterranean instead of 'Israeli'". Or, was it simply not getting their facts right?
Za’atar is an herb mixture of dried oregano, thyme, marjoram mixed with toasted sesame seeds and salt (and often other spices such as sumac). Variations of this condiment are popular throughout the entire Middle East. Pork is restricted in Jewish dietary laws (in the Hebrew Bible) and also in Islamic dietary laws (in the Muslim Quran).
We objectively concluded that it was ignorance for this reason based on our branding logic: If edginess was part of their brand position this core value would be reflected throughout their entire menu and décor. And, it was not.
Alexandra’s father was a shrewd negotiator of oil leases in the Middle East where he worked for several multinational oil companies as a consultant. He was known for his impeccable integrity and fairness. He was often offered bribes, which he flatly refused.
Once he was asked if there was anything that could be offered to him that would sway a negotiation in favor of one side. And, he answered, “Yes! I will fix the situation in your favor if you bring me a pound of kosher bacon”.
The guilty party felt elated seeing a clear path to victory for his side. He then proceeded to contact the head rabbi in the area to find out where he could obtain some kosher bacon. He left embarrassed, but with tremendous respect for Alexandra’s dad.
The moral of the story for luxury real estate marketing professionals: Get your facts right because people are not as dumb as you may think they are.
Written by Ron & Alexandra Seigel-
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