I’ll admit that I loved the research for this Search Insider column. I met up with Gil Mandler, son of the owner of Mandler’s Original Sausage Co., and it turns out he’s better versed in search engine marketing than people I’ve met working full-time in the field.
That night I first met Gil, as I ordered, I placed the book I was reading, David Vise’s The Google Story, on the counter. Gil, then eponymous to me, asked if the book was any good (it was so-so; John Battelle’s The Search is much meatier). I mentioned I was reading it because it was relevant to my job. He asked what I did, so, avoiding any jargon, I told him my company helped other companies advertise through search engines.
He replied, "You mean SEO and SEM?"
Get the full sausage at MediaPost.
Meanwhile, one anecdote I couldn’t work in is that the first time I saw the restaurant, I took a picture of the sign out front that read, "Ours is 9.5" long, come and get it!" I forwarded that on to a few friends who I knew would get a kick out of it. I asked Gil about it. It was his father’s idea, and Gil didn’t think he could get away with it.
While most businesses can’t get away with it, Mandler’s is on a crowded block, right next to or around the corner from Rainbow (felafel), Chopp’d (salad), Havana Central (Cuban), Starbucks, Subway, Republic (Thai), Heartland Brewery, and McDonald’s. Those are all within about a hundred feet of the place. Adding something to catch the eye and surprise some passers-by is a great idea; it gives people something to talk about. And it has a competitive advantage here because most brands wouldn’t take such a risk.