Afternoon Tea in Jerusalem Blog

Life in Israel

Israeli commercial life and society

In addition to my work as a business coach, one of my interests is blogging about life in Israel. This is a country full of contrasts – over eight million citizens living in an area the size of Wales. You can see snow and the lowest place on the globe in the same day. Although surrounded by geopolitical extremes, Israel has achieved a decade of high economic growth. My work brings me in contact with an array of new companies, exciting technologies and dynamic characters. Sitting back with a relaxing cup of strong tea (with milk), you realise just how much there is to appreciate in the Holyland. Large or small operations, private sector or non profit, my clients provide experiences from which others can learn and benefit.

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Why a customer will choose your product

It is the question that every business faces: How can I ensure that my customers will choose my product or service?

Do I cut prices, advertise, offer a coupon, launch a 2 for 1 deal,………? Somehow, the gimmicks seem to repeat themselves the world over.

So how is this for a case study? Nati Bar is a 33 year-old CEO of Roladin, an upmarket chain of patisseries-come-restaurants in Israel. She overseas around 50 branches, with a further 10 opening every year. Nati observed in a newspaper interview that during the Jewish festival of Chanukah last month, when according to custom people go out and buy doughnuts, Roladin sold 4 million of these sticky, sugar-loaded cakes.

And here is the catch: For years, Israelis have benefited as shops come up with ever more fancy recipes, usually with each one filled with more calories than the previous attempt. What Nati’s team noticed is that people “choose their doughnut according to what their eyes see“. Apparently, it has very little to do with price, dietary considerations, the filling or otherwise. And as such, Nati had sent her team to Paris earlier in the year to learn some tricks of the trade.

Actually, what Nati is saying is something very simple and practical. For all the modern techniques of social media and population segmentation, what it comes down to is identifying your customer and listening to what your custome wants. Then you can go out and validate your solution, before you launch a full sales campaign.

Note that I said that Roladin has placed itself a slightly above its competitors. That said, in a market of 8 million people, it is surrounded by rivals, several of whom are more outlets. However, Roladin never openly competes on price.

One of the most common challenges I face as a business coach is how to show my clients that they can reach out to markets, especially when they start to think away from the standard solutions. The Roladin concept in Israel proves how to attract new clientele to your products.

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