Josh Kopel | Award Winning Restaurant Consultant

Restaurant Margins

Restaurant Email Marketing: Pauline Brown on Brand Mastery

Longtime leader in luxury goods and former Chairman of LVMH North America, Pauline is renowned for acquiring, building, and leading some of the world’s most influential brands.

In her groundbreaking new book, Aesthetic Intelligence, she shows businesspeople how to harness the power of their own senses to create products and services that delight their customers and build businesses that last. Her book is based on a course that she designed and taught at Harvard Business School.

Here, she looks to our industry, walking us through how to build a successful hospitality brand.

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What is Aesthetic Intelligence?


A higher level of perception

The ability to discern and communicate what looks and feels good

Grew up as first-gen Jewish American in a creative but practical household

Going into business doesn’t always embrace the creative side

It took Pauline many years to combine creativity with her business knowledge

The importance of creative briefs

Marketing document

Roadmap for the brand plan

Stems from the company’s central idea into a more fixed template for branding

How to create a creative brief for a restaurant

Start with the core idea/usp/story

The core idea needs to be relevant, original and engaging to capture the imaginations of customers

Create an execution strategy to communicate that idea to customers

A central part of a restaurant’s idea – how do I want people to feel?

Getting to know the customer on a basic level

What do they order?

What is the occasion they come to your restaurant?

How much do they typically spend?

What time of day do they come to the restaurant?

Getting to know the customer on an advanced level

Mood state

Who are they as a person?

What drives them?

What are the wanting to feel in the restaurant?

Empathizing with the customer and getting to know them elevates the brand

Creating a “halo-effect”

Building anticipation before they come to the restaurant

Creating long-lasting memories for the customer after they have left

Aesthetics don’t need to be expensive

Nice things don’t need to cost a lot of money

Practical ways to save money aesthetically improving a restaurant

Consider the things you are already doing e.g paint a wall. Could that wall be a different color?

Making the same decisions more mindfully

Editing and taking away can also be effective

Having lots of capital can be a bad thing

Lots of money can make people lazy

Less money = more resourcefulness and creativity

Restaurants are not easy businesses

Most restaurateurs think very practically as operators

Tips to uplevel the customer experience in a restaurant

Sound design

Lighting design, down to the color of the bulbs

Visual design – small details

Pitfalls to avoid

Hiring a team that is not passionate about what they do

Amazing service leaves a lasting impression

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