Monika’s Musings

miscellaneous tidbits on marketing, advertising, and life in general

DREK illustarted

February17

Most of us who have studied Marketing have heard of the DREK scale.

For those of you who haven’t – it is a pretty straightforward scale on which you can measure brands:

Differentiation

Relevance

Esteem

Knowledge

Basically – how different is your brand from the other brands/products in the category, how relevant is it to customers/consumers, how much your brand is respected and how many people know about it. The two really important ones are D and R – the others basically don’t matter. Cause if everyone knows about and respects your brand but never buys your products you’re kinda screwed, and vice versa: if very few people know and respect you, but since your stuff is significantly different and relevant to them, they buy it, you’re pretty much set.

My favorite place in Paris (which I highly recommend to everyone) Le Refuge des Fondus, situated on the picturesque Rue des Trois Freres definitely scores high points on the entire scale. It is relevant to anyone looking for a fun and unusual experience and is different from just about any restaurant you could find. Some of the most fun we have had in Paris was at Le Refuge des Fondus also known as the Baby Bottle Place.

The urban legend tells us that before at this place there was a store for baby stuff. And the new owners decided to retain a keepsake – the baby bottles in which today wine is served. Speaking of D – pray tell when was the last time you got wasted by drinking from a baby bottle??

This is the owner and the guy who runs the show:

fondu-place_owner

He makes a point never to smile; his seriousness is part of the game. He personally greets all of his customers at the door (it isn’t hard since the place is surprisingly tiny):

fondu-place

and then helps you with the seating arrangement. To make maximum use of the available space (and also for fun of course), all of the walls of the restaurant are lined with tables. And in order to sit on the side by the wall, one has to step on a chair, step across the table and then sit down. Which is super fun, especially the first time you do this. But it’s also a pain in the ass, because that’s also the way you get out, incl. to go to the bathroom. And trust me, after 2-3 baby bottles of wine … well, there are easier things to do than this little ritual. The whole place being one giant table most of the time results in some funny situations: you are literally sitting on the lap of the person beside you and more often than not it is someone that you’ve never met in your life. But some really cool conversations with complete strangers can be struck up at this place.

The food they serve is just fondue – two types: meat and cheese. And despite the fact that all of their clients cook their own meal, there are two very visible chefs in the appropriate white top hats. It’s still beyond me what they do there – perhaps some relatives who badly need employment? Dunno.

The most important part of the experience is, of course, the wine. It is very important that you know this is the worst possible wine you can find in France. But it only costs 1,50 or 2 euros a bottle. And, my God, is it a guarantee to have fun :

fondu-place_fun

One thing though: you have to drink. One night I took my cousin who was visiting Paris there for dinner. We had been at a party the night before, we were looking for something nice’n'greasy to eat and she definitely did not want to drink. So when she asked for a coke the owner pointed to the door and just said one word: Out! She tried to object, but it was pointless – she either ordered a [baby] bottle of wine or she had to leave without dinner. You have to play by the rules and that’s that. However, not only can you write on the walls, but you are encouraged to do so.

It is practically impossible to make a reservation and you normally end up waiting outside this place for a good hour, but nobody seems to mind, since they know they’re in for the experience of a lifetime.

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posted under Marketing, Tasty treats
5 Comments to

“DREK illustarted”

  1. On February 17th, 2009 at 10:56 pm Andreas Says:

    Yay, Baby Bottle Place. I believe the chefs slice the meat and prepare the charcuteries, heats the oil, mixes the wine/cheese…

  2. On February 18th, 2009 at 9:40 am monika Says:

    I have always thought that you need to do a bit more than just chopping and heating to deserve the white hat …
    But who cares, the Baby Bottle place is just about the coolest place in Paris!

  3. On February 20th, 2009 at 4:20 pm Mirela Says:

    and I must admit that in those 5 years that I lived in Paris I have never made it up there….on several occasions we talked about going and were almost there but somehow and for some odd reason (which I don’t even remember anymore) we never made it….

    Well we will have to go back!

  4. On February 20th, 2009 at 4:31 pm monika Says:

    Hmmm, we have to correct this as soon as possible. Next time we’re in Paris together (hopefully soon) Baby Bottle Place it is!

  5. On April 29th, 2009 at 11:25 am Alexander Lojovic Says:

    Gushi!

    You forgot to mention the bar next door with the 1000 and 1 different varieties of shots! remember it would be the place to go before (while waiting to get a “space”) and after!!! : )

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