Kosher Halftime Show for Super Bowl XLVIII

Kosher Halftime Show for Super Bowl XLVIII

Kosher Halftime Show | Henry Isaacs | Jewish Marketing 101It seems there’s something Kosher for everyone at the Super Bowl. Or shall we say… for the halftime show. If Bruno Mars and Red Hot Chili Peppers aren’t enough to glue your eyes and ears to the screen, the Nachum Segal Network will be hosting a “Kosher Halftime Show”. For those 20 minutes that you aren’t watching the game, Lenny Solomon & friends will be performing Jewish music and creating a “family oriented vibe” during halftime.

With Super Bowl content, social media & advertising constantly being displayed on your TV, mobile device and tablets from kickoff and on – and did we mention Red Hot Chili Peppers? -, will Jewish listeners actually take the time to listen to live stream of Jewish music on the radio? Seems like a big stretch for a 20 minute window of airtime. Their aim for a “family oriented vibe” isn’t exactly a compelling reason either; some of the commercials are more risque than the halftime show! However in an age where anything could happen when it comes to live events & quickly go viral from there, the Nachum Segal Network & partners do get high marks for innovating a Super Bowl that takes place in the New York/New Jersey area, a heavily populated Jewish area!

Reposted from The Jewish Press

The Nachum Segal Network announced today that it will air its first-ever “Kosher Halftime Show” during Super Bowl XLVIII, the February 2 showdown between the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ. Sure to become a game day institution, the 20-minute online experience will feature a performance by the “King of Shlock” Lenny Solomon and a band assembled from the hottest musical talent on the Jewish music scene, including Avromie Weisberger, Jonathan Rimberg, Ari Boiangiu, and Ethan Bill.

“The halftime show is a key component of the big game, and the NFL consistently brings the biggest names in contemporary music to play on the main stage. The only issue is that those acts often don’t appeal to the Jewish crowd,” said Nachum Segal. “We are proud to be providing a quality, kosher alternative that will entertain Jewish audiences and maintain a family-oriented vibe even during halftime.” Sponsored by Cedar Market in Teaneck, NJ, Empire Kosher Party and Buffalo Wings and Chicken Nuggets, and the Orthodox Union, NSN’s “Kosher Halftime Show” will showcase Shlock Rock favorites and famous original Lenny Solomon songs handpicked by Nachum and Lenny.

“We chose the songs that we believed would make the greatest impact in the short amount of time we had to work with. We wanted to make sure that the positive energy and musical intensity that we felt in the studio would burst off the screen and right into your living room,” added Lenny Solomon. “Shlock Rock is honored to be the act kicking off this NSN tradition, and we are grateful for the opportunity to once again prove that there is no set time and place for Jewish pride – we should feel it at all times and should integrate into all ‘real world’ activities.” The program will also include a few surprises, including Nachum’s special take on Super Bowl commercials. On game day, the Nachum Segal Network will stream the “Kosher Halftime Show” directly from its website,

Following the game, the program will be available on demand via the NSN website, YouTube channel (“NachumSegalNet”) and Facebook page (“Jewish Radio World with Nachum Segal”).

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SodaStream takes their brand to the Super Bowl

SodaStream takes their brand to the Super Bowl

SodaStream | Henry Isaacs | New YorkWhat’s more valuable – an ad in the Super Bowl or the teaser ads FOR the ad in the Super Bowl? According to brand management firm Kontera, both are. Especially when it comes with Scarlett Johansson.

One of the biggest campaigns to date for an Israeli company, SodaStream’s campaign has already gotten a 700% boost in brand awareness. Could be the tasty carbonated product or could be the power of Scarlett Johansson. Either way, the Jewish audience has more than one reason to watch the Super Bowl next weekend!

Check out a Behind the Scenes video of the SodaStream commercial here:


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Jewish & Kosher | What’s The Deal?

Jewish & Kosher | What’s The Deal?

Jewish & Kosher | What's The Deal?Sometimes the best way to describe Jewish and Kosher is through a presentation that covers some of the burning questions out there. So we created one that helps say exactly what people are thinking and wondering. Yes, it may be a bit self-serving (we are a business after all!) but some of the slides show how the Jewish and kosher market is a group you don’t want to overlook these days!

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Jewish Marketing 101 – Merchant Circle Survey on Marketing & Social Media Trends

Jewish Marketing 101 – Merchant Circle Survey on Marketing & Social Media Trends

Merchant Circle Marketing Study

MerchantCircle Press Releases

Social Marketing Continues Meteoric Rise Among Local Businesses

New research from MerchantCircle reveals local merchants flocking to simple, free marketing methods such as social media sites, are slow to adopt mobile marketing and group buying.

Group buying gets mixed reviews: 55 percent of merchants who have offered a “daily deal” through a group buying service would not do so again

Mountain View, CA, February 15, 2011 — MerchantCircle, the largest online network of local business owners in the nation, today shared results of its quarterly Merchant Confidence Index survey of over 8,500 small and local business owners across the U.S. The data reveals that local merchants, who have very limited time and money for marketing, are gravitating towards simple, low-cost online marketing methods such as Facebook and other social media, as well as towards tried-and-true methods such as search and email marketing. The research also demonstrates that while new marketing services such as mobile marketing and group buying are generating significant buzz in the media, local merchants have yet to tap these unproven marketing methods.

“Online marketing continues to be a challenge for most local businesses, and many merchants are working with very small budgets and almost no marketing resources,” said Darren Waddell, Vice President of marketing at MerchantCircle. “The marketing methods we see gaining the most traction are therefore the ones that offer merchants simplicity, low costs and immediate results.”

Key conclusions from the survey include:

(1) Local businesses have little time or budget to devote to marketing.

According to the MerchantCircle survey data, more than half of local merchants are spending less than $2,500 a year on marketing, and 60 percent have no plans to raise their budgets this year. These merchants are also price-sensitive: one quarter of merchants cite high costs as their chief complaint about online marketing (26 percent).

Many merchants are also struggling to manage their existing programs and don’t have time to take advantage of new, unproven services, with lack of time and resources the top online marketing challenge for more than one third of merchants (37 percent).

(2) Social media are now the top marketing strategy for local businesses.

With its huge consumer adoption, ease-of-use and low barrier to entry, Facebook continues to be a popular way for merchants to market their business, with 70 percent using the social network for marketing, up from 50 percent one year ago. Facebook has now surpassed Google (66 percent) as the most widely used marketing method amongst local merchants, and is almost tied with Google search (40 percent) as one of their top three most effective marketing methods, with 37 percent rating Facebook as one of their most effective tools.

Facebook Places has benefited from this high level of adoption, soaring past Foursquare to reach a 32 percent current usage rate, with an additional 12 percent citing plans to use Facebook Places in the coming months. While Foursquare’s usage is up from just 2 percent one year ago, use of the location-based service has remained steady at about 9 percent over the past two quarters.

Twitter has also grown in popularity over the past year, with nearly 40 percent of local merchants using the microblogging platform to build awareness and community around their products and services, up from 32 percent in Q4 2009.

(3) Tried-and-true online methods trump new, unproven approaches.

With little time and budget to devote to marketing, local merchants are slow to adopt unproven technologies such as mobile marketing and group buying and are relying on more familiar methods that have delivered results. Three of the top marketing methods for local businesses — social, search and email — are also cited as being the most effective, with 36 percent putting social networking in the top three, 40 percent citing search and 36 percent choosing email marketing.

In spite of the hype around mobile marketing, less than 15 percent of merchants report doing any sort of mobile marketing or advertising, and more than half have no plans to do so in the coming months. Lack of understanding remains a huge barrier to adoption: 74 percent of merchants state that they don’t have a good idea of how to reach consumers via mobile marketing.

Group buying will also take time to penetrate the local market. Only 11 percent of local merchants have offered a “daily deal” using a service like Groupon or LivingSocial, with an additional 20 percent planning to do so in the coming months. Results of group buying have also been mixed and may be hindering growth: 55 percent of people who have run a daily deal campaign said they would not do so again.

(4) Use of traditional offline marketing methods continues to decline.

Traditional offline marketing methods continue to decline across the board. Over the course of 2010, use of print advertising dropped by 33 percent (from 40 percent usage to 27 percent); use of print Yellow Pages declined 18 percent (from 45 percent to 37 percent); and use of direct mail decreased 26 percent (from 39 percent to 28 percent).

Don’t expect these methods to disappear anytime soon, however, as many continue to deliver results for local merchants. 24 percent say that coupons or direct mail are still one of their top three most effective marketing tactics, 23 percent say print Yellow Pages are a top three tactic, and 20 percent put print newspaper ads in the top three as well.

(5) Online marketing services companies are aggressively targeting local businesses.

Despite the fact that local merchants have very little budget for marketing, online marketing services companies are working hard to reach and serve this market, often with a direct sales force making cold calls. MerchantCircle’s research reveals that 51 percent of local merchants get at least one online marketing sales call a week, with 10 percent getting called almost on a daily basis.

About the Merchant Confidence Index

The Merchant Confidence Index is a quarterly survey conducted by MerchantCircle, the largest social network of local business owners in the U.S. with over 1.6 million members. The Index is designed to track trends in small business sentiment over time and is derived from four key questions designed to synopsize the prevailing trends among local business owners. The overall index score is based upon a standardized five-level Likert scale.

This fifth Merchant Confidence Index survey was fielded online, between January 22nd and February 3rd, 2011, and sent to a random sample of MerchantCircle’s member base of over 1.6 million local business owners. There were 8,456 total responses from local business owners across the United States. Responding businesses classified themselves as legal and financial services, automotive, health and beauty, entertainment, travel and more, with 75 percent of respondents having less than 5 employees. The survey data can be broken out by state, business type or business size (by headcount) upon request. No incentive was offered to complete the survey. To read the full survey and its results, please visit

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Jewish Marketing 101 | Bloomberg Businessweek article on Outsourcing your Marketing

Jewish Marketing 101 | Bloomberg Businessweek article on Outsourcing your Marketing

Businessweek Outsourcing Your Marketing



Outsourcing Your Marketing Services

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on May 14, 2008

Have you ever considered outsourcing some, or even all, of your marketing? Doing so can help you achieve your business goals if you don’t have a marketing department, or it can give you more hands and fresh ideas if you do. Here are some benefits to consider:

• Fill skill gaps. Since media is increasingly fragmented, communications programs are more complicated. You can’t be an expert in every medium and understand the needs of each of your target audiences if your products are sold across vertical industries or have key purchase influencers from several departments.

• Reduce overhead. You don’t need to hire an individual or team for a specific program. Just outsource an expert. That way you don’t bear the hidden costs of recruiting, training, furnishing an office, and employee benefits. Salary is just a fraction of employment costs.

• Eliminate bias and leverage a broader, different perspective. Outsourcing eliminates the “We’ve always done it this way” mentality. You can access the strategic thinking and creative expertise of a marketing professional free of internal political baggage.

• Improve your focus. Outsourcing helps you to focus on the core competencies of your business. Talk to your customers or your sales team. You can then provide strategic, insightful direction and play to your strength. You’ll help to reduce your risks and maximize the return on investment in your marketing programs with input from the front line.

• Jump-start your marketing instantly. Outsourcing gives you access to experienced marketing professionals who can quickly develop plans and campaigns on the tightest of schedules. You can just say “Run with it” and start focusing on the crush of your other competing priorities.

Colleen Edwards
President and CEO
The PowerMark Group
San Juan Capistrano, Calif.

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Jewish Marketing 101 – Choosing between Print or Online Marketing to the Jewish Market

Jewish Marketing 101 – Choosing between Print or Online Marketing to the Jewish Market

Reaching the Jewish marketing in print and online

Reaching the Jewish customer used to much easier. You put an ad in the paper and usually you had success. That way of thinking has gone the way of  The New York Sun print edition – it’s become outdated, unnoticed, and simply unnecessary. But don’t think print marketing isn’t still valuable; on the contrary, for the Jewish market, print may still be the strongest option for getting Jewish clients. Here’s a marketing and Jewish market exploration into Why Print and Why Not Print?

Why Print?

The Jewish market will always have Sabbath (Shabbos/Shabbat). The fastest growing denomination of Jewry is the Orthodox market (link) and this is a market that turns off all iPads, iPhones, TV’s and computers in favor of relaxation and reading. Print advertising is the top method for reaching a market with complete attention span for a dedicated amount of time. There are currently more than three dozen print media outlets (both newspapers and pennysavers) that serve the Greater New York Jewish community, a well above average number (and overly disproportionate to the size of the New York Jewish community) and testament to the vitality of print media to the Jewish community. Furthermore, the Ultra-Orthodox market has recently protested overuse of the internet due to morality standards so print marketing is generally the best and only way to promote successfully to their market.

The original social network: Synagogue – Jews are no strangers to social networks. For thousands of years, Jewry has been a close knit, often “clique-ish” and isolated community that relied on their networks to do business, buy goods, and create opportunities – they had their own social network for generations. The synagogue is the original hub for Jewish social networking – simply look at each community’s Yahoo “shul group” membership and responses rate to see how important – and as such, anything that was discussed in person, with an offline component such as a newspaper clipping, flyer, coupon, or ad, was of great value. Although the Jewish market is constantly involved in web, digital, and mobile applications, there’s always an inherent return to the old ways of doing business by word of mouth and through Jewish social networking. Although online and social marketing is a valuable supplement, print advertising and offline marketing is one of the most basic tools that the Jewish community has always been attracted to.

Why Not Print?

We’re All Connected. Finally. – The Jewish market has never been slow to change and adapt. Facebook, Google, Twitter, and Yahoo have all been embraced for their speed, connectivity, and usefulness in connecting Jewish ideas to new Jewish markets. Although the Orthodox market is the fastest growing, the non-religious and unaffiliated Jewis market still remains the largest (Facebook and Google were both founded by Jewish but non-affiliated innovators). Since the Jewish market is extremely small, connecting to Jewish communities and people in diverse regions of the world make online marketing and presence extremely important. Measureable – Online media is much more measurable than print media and, without question, is growing faster than print marketing. In fact, print media responses requires a conscious, purposeful “next step” such as calling the number, visiting the store, arranging a consultation, etc., let alone an actual purchase. Online marketing only needs a “click” to be redirected to all the information, feedback, price, and benefits one can need before buying, which is much easier than other ways. Furthermore, not only is the chance of purchase much higher, the advertiser now has a nice amount of information on his customer and his marketing – depending on privacy settings, they know age range, geographical location, where they browsed, when and where they clicked, and how long they spent deciding on a purchase or not. Remember the line from John Wanamaker, “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half”? Through online marketing, you can finally see what you’re wasting.

Instant Response by Email –Be it a Groupon daily offer, breaking news e-mail, or a dedicated stand alone email blast, email marketing offers the opportunity to reach your market instantly and on your schedule. Although the Jewish market is reached no differently by email than American consumers, they do have a dedicated Jewish email marketplace (Negev Direct has a Jewish philanthropic postal mail marketplace as well). Starting with Groupon-style Jewish/Kosher daily deal options,, Jewpon, Kosher Kouponz, and Yipit are some of the top Jewish daily deal sites with large email lists. Axiom33 and Sephardic Daily Blast are two dedicated email marketing options that target specific ethnic groups, such as Jewish women and Sephardic Jews respectively. And, of course, the top Jewish news outlets in the nation, such as The Jewish Week, The Daily Forward, and Jewish Journal of Los Angeles, all have dedicated email lists of their readers as well as print, web, and social media components all tied into one. There are instant ways to reach the Jewish market – choosing the right one requires an expert in the Jewish segmenting, though.

Overall, the best solution when deciding between online and offline/traditional forms of marketing to the Jewish market is to obtain an expert in the Jewish market and in marketing/social media. By navigating your choices better, you’ll see more success no matter which direction you head in!

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Jewish Marketing 101 – Ditch the Graphic Designer. Get a Marketer.

Jewish Marketing 101 – Ditch the Graphic Designer. Get a Marketer.

Graphic DesignNothing says bad business and lost investment like an advertisement that doesn’t do what it’s supposed to do, which is bring in business. I’ve met clients who go through painstaking troubles to hire graphic artists to create the most eye-catching ad possible – the problem is many Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator graphic designers lack the one tool that matters: marketing intelligence & experience.

If you’re a smart business, you know you need to ditch the graphic designer and get a marketer. 

A marketer understands the needs of the client go well beyond ad design. A marketer needs to know who your target market is, how to reach them, when to reach them, what will get through to them, what your budget is, what media outlets have a proven track record, and what you need to accomplish before, during, and after the ad campaign hits. Yeah, that’s a lot of stuff. Graphic designers know how to make an apple have fangs and only when someone advises them to do it for the apple with fangs business.

Ditch the graphic designer and get a marketer. The marketer creates a vision, concept, pitch and slogan for your brand. A designer simply takes those instructions and designs it. If you’re paying for a graphic designer that has no marketing experience, then not only are you wasting money on ad design (not to mention ad buys), you’re also risking your reputation as a business/service that is disconnected with the marketplace.

How can you tell if you have a designer or a marketer? Simple:

  • A marketer will provide an advertising gameplan and then design an ad that matches your goals, vision, and market.
  • A designer will show you their rates and portfolio of their capabilities, not a gameplan for where to advertise.
  • A marketer will recommend you measure responses through call tracking, promo codes, and QR codes.
  • A designer will say that adding those tracking options will detract from the look of the ad.
  • A marketer will tell you all about CPM, CTR, Open Rates, SEM, SEO, PPC, and more.
  • A designer will only give you two proofs to review before the final ad.
  • A marketer will list testimonials on their websites from successful customers.
  • A designer will list artwork yet no indication of client’s success.

So what would a good marketer say?

A great looking ad comes at a price. Knowing where to place it makes it an investment.

When you just get a graphic designer, all you have now is a great looking piece of artwork. You could hang it on the wall if you choose. Or you could invest it smartly into the best print, digital, and social places to bring in sales and get more business. Always ask before you hire a designer if they can handle media buying, media placements, strategy and market research. Until you know what, who, when, and where to target your customers, you just have a piece of PDF art. A smart marketer will know how to design your advertising for your intended market and then provide a media strategy for placing it. That’s an investment.

Develop a slogan.

Take a lesson from Walmart – develop a slogan, compel customers, to find out more and live by it. For years, Walmart’s tagline has been “Save Money. Live Better.” That tagline speaks to everyone in four words and compels people to visit a store or to see how they can save money on everything and actually live better with the savings they gain. Furthermore, it tells customers what to expect you’re your business. Home Depot wants to help you “Keep Improving” while Harley Davidson says what they stand for: “American by Birth. Rebel by Choice”. IBM delivers “Solutions for a Smarter Planet” and Nike urges people to “Just Do It”. You can see more here. What message are you telling your customers that you stand for? Even better, what are you telling your customers that your competitors aren’t? A good marketer knows how to develop an all-encompassing slogan that sums you up in half a sentence.

Reinforce, Reinforce, Reinforce.

Coca Cola grabbed headlines during Super Bowl season (go Giants!). InformationWeek reported on how Coca-Cola is going to be a marketing trailblazer that leverages their TV advertising through a massive social media effort. The days of simply watching a Super Bowl ad and then possibly buying a Coke are over; now, people can see the TV ad, “Like” Coke on Facebook, interact with the Coke Polar Bears online, and share the ads with people on their mobile devices and tablets. The message is simple – you have to reinforce your ad campaign in as many ways as possible. Does your store signage match your advertising? Is it consistent with your website, brochures & social media? Reinforcing can even be experimental – like – or very basic, like ensuring your print advertising is consistent with your business cards and branding collateral. More importantly, is your business image consistent with YOU? Even MORE important is how are you measuring it all?? Don’t drop the ball on the two-yard line. If you’re not reinforcing your image, you’re actually reducing the marketing effectiveness of your entire image.

Sometimes, You Need to Put your Opinion Aside.

When we were designing the print artwork for High Style Events, we were so convinced that our print design would be a great consistent theme, in line with our website, that would really grab the attention female clients. It took one comment from our female colleague – “it’s a bit dark” – to make us totally rethink our design. Although we were so passionate about the idea, we decided that we had to put my vision and idea’s to the side in favor of a member of our target market – females! If she says it’s too dark, then our target female market will consider it too dark and think we are in the dark-event business. Needless to say, we changed the print design to a more lavish, bright look with plenty of images and florals all around. Sometimes, you need to take your passions and vision out of the equation and let others – like your wife, your staff, or even clients – chime in with their opinions.

Be risky in your creative. But be truthful.

No one ever said you have to copy what your competitors are doing. Ever since Pomegranate started using a unique design for their advertising when they first opened, every Jewish supermarket tried to imitate the look and image. Well, Mendy’s Heimishe Bakery isn’t Pomegranate – it’s a bakery. A pretty small one. Don’t follow the crowd… create a new design so others follow you. And it’s ok to be risky and funny and bold and loud because it’s your business and your business has a unique personality. Be loud and creative in your logo but always stay truthful to what you are and what you represent. If you’re a small community bakery, highlight your “friendly service” & “fresh-baked” quality, not your valet parking. Own what your business is about and always highlight it.

Have a lot to say? Save it for the website or social media. 

Dozens of clients made the same mistake in their ads. They think the more information/value/deals they put in an ad, the more responses they’ll get from customers dying to take advantage of everything! Too many details in the ad will clog up the message. If you met someone in an elevator and went through your entire pitch about your business – who, where, what you sell, price, discounts, phone number, email, website, Facebook, Twitter, I guarantee that you will lose their interest. You know how people take eight seconds for a first impression? With an ad, you have less than 2 seconds to leave an impression. So get down to business and entice them to like what you’re about, pick up the phone, visit your website, or clip your coupon.

If you want to ensure a successful advertising campaign, the first step is to ditch the graphic designers. Marketing strategists and experienced advertisers are a better investment for future success.

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Jewish Marketing 101 – Benefit from Yeshiva Week

Jewish Marketing 101 – Benefit from Yeshiva Week

Yeshiva Week Break & Jewish Vacations

You’ve heard of New Year’s break, mid-winter break, and even Spring Break… but what about Yeshiva Week? This is the week when Jewish schools have off and it usually falls around mid-January – this year, it falls around the week of January 19th – January 29th. For Jewish parents who usually have a lax work schedule during the weeks of Christmas and New Years, this Yeshiva Week is finally a chance to take a vacation since their children are off from school. To have an opportunity to increase sales from any market at the start of the new year AND right after the (hopefully successful) shopping month of December, should be a welcome opportunity!

So how can you benefit from Yeshiva Week? Let’s explore:

Vacations in the Sun (and Snow)

This week is the ONE week where Jewish families can go on a FULL vacation without a holiday. On most week long breaks for Passover and Sukkot, families are tied down by certain holiday times that prevent traveling and entertainment. But for Yeshiva Week, with no holiday, each day can be used however they want! Some of the preferred destinations are Florida, Israel, Cancun, Bahamas, and Puerto Rico. Some prefer more local vacations to destinations such as Great Wolf Lodge, Mountain Creek, and the Poconos. Utah and Denver resorts have promoted their ski destinations as well to the Jewish market.

If you’re a vacation or destination spot looking for a bump in after-Christmas/New Year vacationers, Yeshiva Week is for you. Team up with your local Kosher restaurant or caterer to offer special package deals for a stay and food. The Jewish market loves to travel in groups, so a group rate will get the Jewish vacationer to build a group for traveling.

Day Trips

For those not vacationing, having the kids around the house for an entire week is definitely not what parents want! Museums, entertainment centers, bowling, arcades, aquariums, and other locations are great spots for day trips. Promote a “Yeshiva Week” deal in local Jewish media. Remember, if they come and visit your place, parents will be more likely to return for Passover break as well!

Yeshiva Week can help you start the New Year off in a uniquely beneficial way.

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Jewish Marketing 101 – Social Media Influencing Decisions on Kosher Consumption (KosherToday)

Jewish Marketing 101 – Social Media Influencing Decisions on Kosher Consumption (KosherToday)

Kosher Social MediaSocial Media Influencing Decisions on Kosher Consumption, But Not There Yet

Reposted from Kosher Today

New York…The effect of social media on the consumption of kosher foods is for all practical purposes a case of two separate cities. In an exhaustive look at the subject, KosherToday found that in a good segment of the kosher market, social media is beginning to play a significant role in influencing brand and product consumption while in some Charedi (Orthodox) communities social media is still linked to an overall distrust and even forbidden medium of the Internet. “Since this customer still makes up a large percentage of daily kosher food sales, bridging this gap will be important if social media will take off for the kosher category,” says Yakov M. Yarmove, Corporate Business Manager, Ethnic Marketing and Specialty Foods for SuperValu. But KosherToday found that even in such Orthodox communities as Flatbush and Monsey, some stores are feeling the effects of social media, particularly when some of their premium items go on sale. “I will sometimes have 15-20 shoppers a day ask for an item on sale that they flagged on either Facebook or Twitter,” said a Flatbush retailer.

Esti Berkowitz of and, a leader in the growing kosher foodie network using social media, says that social media is influencing purchases at the grocery store. “A lot of these purchasing decisions come directly from the online distribution of circulars from the supermarket,” she says. In fact, she points to a study conducted by Ken Johns, VP, Director of 1:1 at Brunner which found that amongst more than 400 women with children age 12 and under, nearly 96% of the respondents said they check e-mail at least once a day and eight in ten moms indicated they want to receive offers and information from preferred brands via email. A number of major retailers have been using Facebook and Twitter to communicate with their loyal customers, a trend that kosher industry sources say is beginning to take hold in the kosher community as well. It bodes well for the introduction of new products, which in many instances drives profits in the kosher set. Says Mrs. Berkowitz: “The gain for new products via social media is increasing steadily.  People are looking to blogs and social media for reviews and recommendations of food and beverages.” She points to the results of The Social Media Matters Study (April 2011) that 53% of the participants had become repeat buyers based on a blog recommendation.

Leah Schapira is one of those foodies who have developed a passion for using social media to promote good kosher cooking. A  well-known food columnist and recipe developer in the kosher world, she recently launched as a platform for sharing information on ingredients, recipes, new products and almost everything else that a kosher consumer and cook would need Not very much. Says Schapira: “I don’t think that the influence of social media has spread wide enough in the kosher world yet.” She does, however, see social media as a boon for new products because of the relationship it establishes between manufacturer and consumer. “The ability to easily and quickly solicit feedback from consumers can help a new product adjust its course in line with ever-changing demands and preferences,” says Schapira. Although there appeared to be dramatic developments in the impact of social media on kosher consumption, most kosher industry sources agreed that the trend is definitely on the side of a new generation of social media kosher foodies.

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Jewish Holidays 101 – Sukkot – The Other High Holiday

Jewish Holidays 101 – Sukkot – The Other High Holiday

Sukkot, the other High HolidaySukkot – The Other High Holiday

Let’s talk a little bit about Sukkot, what I’m calling the “other” High Holiday. Although not fully celebrated as intensely as Rosh Hashana or Yom Kippur by worldwide Jewry, Sukkot is a 9 day marathon (8 days in Israel) of a holiday that includes large meals, expensive traditions, and family trips. Almost any business can benefit from Sukkot yet the holiday is overshadowed by the “hugeness” of Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur (like I said in the last post, Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur are the “Don’t Mess” holidays).

Here’s some broad strokes about the Sukkot holiday (excerpted from Wikipedia)

Sukkot (the Feast of Booths, Feast of Tabernacles) is a Biblical holiday celebrated around late September to late October. It is one of the three Biblically mandated Shalosh regalim on which Jews and Believers make pilgrimages to pre-determined sites to worship and make fellowship in the Temple in Jerusalem. The Holy Week lasts seven days, including Chol Hamoed and is immediately followed by another festive day known as Shemini Atzeret. The Hebrew word sukkōt is the plural of sukkah, “booth or tabernacle”, which is a walled structure covered with flora, such as tree branches or bamboo shoots. The sukkah is intended as a reminiscence of the type of fragile dwellings in which the ancient Israelites dwelt during their 40 years of wandering in the desert after the Exodus from Egypt.

Throughout the holiday the sukkah becomes the primary living area of one’s home. All meals are eaten inside the sukkah and many sleep there as well. On each day of the holiday, members of the household recite a blessing over the lulav and etrog, or Four species. According to Zechariah, in the messianic era Sukkot will become a universal festival and all nations will make pilgrimages annually to Jerusalem to celebrate the feast there.

The second through seventh days of Sukkot (third through seventh days outside Israel) are called Chol HaMoed  (lit. “festival weekdays”). These days are considered by halakha to be more than regular weekdays but less than festival days. Observant Jews typically treat Chol HaMoed as a vacation period, eating nicer than usual meals in their sukkah, entertaining guests, visiting other families in their sukkot, and taking family outings. Many synagogues and Jewish centers also offer events and meals in their sukkot during this time to foster community and goodwill.

How to Benefit from Sukkot

Let’s talk about this big Sukkot holiday and how you can best benefit from it’s long span of celebration (I’m omitting the usual benefits for food and wines because these beneficial options are always synonymous with Jewish holidays):

The End of the High Holidays

In the Rosh Hashana post, I explored the aspect of not simply thinking holiday to holiday, but instead think of the ENTIRE High Holiday season (Check it out here). Sukkot is the end of the High Holiday season yet ends with quite a bang! Retailers, wines, foods, and apparel can benefit all month from this holiday season and the holiday season can help boost 3rd quarter sales for your business.

The Sukkah – A Man’s Job

When I grew up, my family used to go down to Home Depot and buy wood panels and nails, piece them together and build a handmade Sukkah (ours was designed with a retractable roof as well!) This holiday is the rare time for the “hands-on” Jewish man to take the spotlight. Lumber yards, Home Depot/Lowe’s, outdoor accesory stores, and party supplies are all businesses that stand to benefit from the “Jewish man’s holiday” of Sukkot. Granted, many Jewish families take the easier way of assembling a pre-fabricated Sukkah from or Sukkah Outlet, but there’s still work that needs to be done to assemble the entire tabernacle. And Synagogues and Jewish Centers need larger, custom-made Sukkot that require a lot of wood,nails,  bamboo stalks, and love to set up!

Chol Hamoed – A Vacation in a Vacation

As shown above, Chol Hamoed is the middle 4-5 days of Sukkot and are essentially a vacation in a vacation. Jewish schools are usually off for the entire Sukkot holiday and the restrictions on driving or using money are lifted on Chol Hamoed. What that means is plenty of free time and plenty of money to spend on day trips. Just ask the Bronx Zoo, Chelsea Piers, and the Long Island Childrens Museum about the huge influx of Jewish families during these few days and their sheer numbers of Jewish attendee’s should be enough to inspire you to promote your location as a great Chol Hamoed destination.

When marketing to the Jewish community for Chol Hamoed though, remember that you need to find the perfect timing between when the Jewish market is done focusing on Yom Kippur and starts focusing on Sukkot. Find out the Jewish media’s advertising schedule and ask for suggested dates (I would suggest advertising the week of Yom Kippur and the first week after) for running print, web, or email advertising. Promoting too early for Chol Hamoed may have your message overlooked, and promoting too late may mean parents have booked up their schedule already. But one thing to keep in mind is this:

Have Sukkah, will travel

Even though the middle days of Sukkot are full of travel and adventure, don’t forget that it’s still Sukkot. And Sukkot is a holiday that requires people to sit in the sukkah when eating meals. If you have the space to build a temporary Sukkah on your premises, do it! If Jewish families are deciding between a destination with a Sukkah versus one without a Sukkah, the choice is quite obvious – the Sukkah friendly destination saves families time, energy, and hassle having to find a place to eat.  Yes, a Sukkah for only a few days could be an expensive purchase (on, a 12 x 20 Sukkah costs about $1200) but think about the increased traffic you’ll have at your location in the middle of a normally slow school week.

Now, you don’t need a Sukkah that can fit thousands nor do you need to offer Kosher food as well. But you should be aware that there will be a NEED that exists for a Sukkah and try your best to fulfill that need. Bring in a Jewish consultant (like us!) to see how a Sukkah can be constructed efficiently and correctly. You may even have an existing structure outside (such as a trellis) that can already accomodate a Sukkah (just add foliage), which would be a happy coincidence! I would also suggest pairing up with a local Kosher restaurant (who will build a Sukkah anyway) to see how you can partner to increase traffic for each other during Chol Hamoed – perhaps a discount at NYC  Midtown’s J2 for those heading to Ripley’s Believe It or Not since J2 has a Sukkah. Explore your options and, as I said in an older post for event planners, know your Jewish radius that exists all around you! And bottom line, if your location offers a Sukkah, then the Jewish market see’s that you just “get them”. You understand our needs and we’ll be loyal to businesses that understand us.

The End of Sukkot – Simchat Torah

The end of Sukkot is called Simchat Torah, which is essentially a celebration of the finishing and the re-beginning of the Torah reading. And the holiday is accompanied by singing, dancing, drinking, and revelry. Because of the erratic scheduling and celebrations of these last days, many Synagogues hold elaborate luncheons for their congregants. Caterers, party accessories, and decorators – take note! This is a great way to showcase your food and services for large Jewish communities outside of their typical social and non-profit events.

Who celebrates Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur? EVERYONE. Who celebrates Sukkot? Most people.

Know that difference. Everyone is in synagogue for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, even Larry David! Not everyone is celebrating Sukkot, which is why businesses, synagogues, and individuals place such a strong focus  on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, a total of three days, over Sukkot, a nine day holiday.

The reason is primarily due to the fact that Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are considered the two “Don’t Mess” holidays. Passover is 8 days, Sukkot is 9, Hanukkah is 8 as well – these are long holidays and some people can’t keep every holiday to the end. In fact, many people will be working during Sukkot, especially during the Chol Hamoed days, so for those serving the Jewish worker (such as NYC restaurants), be prepared to offer some amenities for Sukkot.

The Post-High Holidays Workout

Like December’s New Years, a month long holiday season of food, wine, revelry, and celebration is the perfect excuse to hit the gym. Gym memberships and personal training are great services to offer as Sukkot starts winding down. For gyms and fitness centers located in heavily populated Jewish areas, you should consider sponsoring the local Jewish school’s basketball team since the season doesn’t start until after Sukkot and it’s a great tie in for fitness for all ages. If you haven’t started reaching the Jewish market and are curious to try it, try sending a or Kosher Kouponz offer (the Jewish Groupon-style businesses).

So that’s the holiday of Sukkot. Much more than just people waving palm branches while sitting in huts in their backyard. And for the smart business, it could mean MUCH more to your bottom line if you position your business to market effectively. I hope this helps de-mystify the Jewish holiday of Sukkot and helps you target the Jewish market in a successful way for this reflective holiday. Have a great Sukkot!

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