Tuesday, July 2, 2013

What Not to Do.. And What to do

I went to write this blog a few days ago when I retrieved the Atlanta magazine from my mailbox.

I wrote about a half page of thoughts… and emotions! But then, I got a call from a friend to grab a martini and I stopped.

Sometimes taking a break is a good thing and actually turns out a better perspective… and I am the first to say that the martini helps too!

I am writing this blog as I drink a cup of coffee at a new Jewish deli that opened up in Atlanta called The General Muir.

You will see how The General Muir enters into the rattling below.

First… I have to comment that as much as I dislike what Atlanta magazine has elected to evolve into, I cannot critique the magazine for doing what it did. After all, the magazine is in the business to sell ad space.

The current issue of the Atlanta magazine is its healthcare issue.

There are a lot of print media that are jumping quickly on board with their specialized healthcare publications.

The historic print media struggles today to maintain its ad spending revenue levels as hard copy circulation continues to tank.

To be honest, with all the healthcare reform going on right now, consumers are not necessarily big readers of healthcare ads.

But… we have to remember that healthcare, despite all the hype in Washington, is still a fraternal order.

The current issue is loaded with healthcare ads. Lots of hospital ads. Lots of specialty care ads. Everything from orthopedic groups to cancer care centers.

The ads … and the marketing “managers” along with the ad agencies creating them… appear to dwell among their clones.

The word “care” appears in almost every ad.

So do the pictures with guys and gals sporting the white lab coats.

The ads trumpet self-declared quality and compassion.

I have already taken the magazine and plan to use it to drive my business.

Like I said, I cannot hold Atlanta magazine responsible.

But I have no remorse in holding the ad agencies accountable.

Ad agencies talk the talk about their innovative thinking sets, but its ads like these that quickly strip away the clothes and reveal the nakedness of the agency’s top priority to receive the client compensation versus deliver the unique brand platforms.

I will use this edition of Atlanta magazine to showcase to clients what not to do.

Enough said.

Let’s shift to The General Muir.

The General Muir is a talked about addition to the Atlanta restaurant mix.

Ben and Jennifer Johnson and Shelley Sweet, the owners of another landmark Atlanta restaurant, are the owners who crafted The General Muir.

It is located nearly across the street from the CDC and just up the hill from Emory University.

A larger percentage of Emory’s student body and faculty support actually has Jewish root.

General Muir is the name of the refugee ship that brought Jennifer’s mother and grandparents Holocaust survivors to New York after WWII.

In crafting the restaurant concept, its design, its interior, its graphics, its collateral materials… to be honest… every touch-point of The General Muir brand experience, Ben, Jennifer and Shelley went and dwelled with both the owners and the diners of the much-sought, upper Manhattan, authentic New York Jewish restaurant-delicatessens.

No question that Shelly who gets to the restaurant at 4am in the morning, has made it her mission to deliver a brand experience that does not have to communicate self-proclaimed personality, awards and recognition nor the attributes of what comprises the experience.

I encourage readers to check out their website… www.thegeneralmuir.com.

When I leave this morning, not only do I feel a sense of roots, inclusion, tradition and comfort… I very quickly believe that the passion about crafting the essence of a brand that I preach is a calling and a mission.

Shelley’s creation and her day-to-day dedication of opening the doors of The General Muir is also a calling and a mission.

One of my healthcare clients… a team of cardiac surgeons… is very passionate about what the team achieves with patients each and every day.

Nearly all of them are under the age of 45.

They have no ads running in the current issue of Atlanta Magazine. And even if they did, I doubt that it would be anything like the ads running.

They go beyond the context of the tried and blue.

I encourage the readers of this blog to pick up a copy of Atlanta Magazine and page through it and observe what not to do.

I also encourage the readers of this blog to visit The General Muir and observe what to do.

And then check and see if Jennifer is in the restaurant and have her bring you Horse’s Neck Cocktail, some chopped liver and an assorted pickle plate.

And then raise your glasses and make a toast of congratulations that Ben, Jennifer and Shelley were brave enough to craft a brand experience that makes The General Muir distinctive… and what to do… from the herd of corporate management that can’t.



CEO & Discovery Chief at EXPERIENCE Insight Group, Inc. In the business to discover and craft brand experiences that humans seek out and engage in.

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Mark Kooyman

CEO & Discovery Chief at EXPERIENCE Insight Group, Inc. In the business to discover and craft brand experiences that humans seek out and engage in.