Young & Laramore uses books to build appetite for its services

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Indianapolis-based advertising agency Young & Laramore is hoping to scoop up some new clients—specifically restaurants—with the release of a new book, “Nuggets, Nibbles, Morsels and Crumbs.”

The print version of the book was published in mid-February. The book also is available digitally through Amazon and the iTunes store.

It’s the agency’s second book offering advice to the restaurant sector. The first, a 230-page guide called “Selling Eating,” was published in 2013 and has sold 1,500 copies. The agency is doing a second printing.

The books, written by Young & Laramore principal Charlie Hopper, draw from the firm's experience as agency of record for Steak n Shake from 1990-2008. Young & Laramore has been doing marketing for restaurants for more than 25 years, not only handling advertising, but tasks like menu design, packaging and interior design of restaurant buildings, Denari said.

“There’s a lot that goes into it that the consumer wouldn’t even think of as advertising,” Young & Laramore President Tom Denari said. “The idea is for it to be seamless.”

Young & Laramore’s books cover myriad advice topics, including how to handle social media for a restaurant, selecting and promoting offerings for children and the 15 forbidden food cliches.

The second book, which is 76 pages, draws heavily from Hopper’s top columns from Food & Drink magazine.

Denari noted that times in the advertising industry are changing.

“It used to be that you kept your [marketing] strategies secret,” Denari said. “Today’s philosophy is you demonstrate your thought process. With these books, we’re looking to leverage our expertise and get our thoughts and ideas out there.”

The restaurant category is one of the most lucrative—and competitive—categories for ad agencies, industry experts said.

“You’re making a decision about a meal every three to four hours and there are lots of restaurants vying for consumers’ attention,” Denari said.

Other local firms including Z Marketing Partners (an offshoot of the old MZD Advertising agency) and Burkhart Marketing Associates also have made a strong push into the restaurant category.

The books have scored Young & Laramore one new restaurant client—Penn Station—so far. Denari thinks more will come.

“The books have brought us a fair amount of attention,” Denari said. “Some marketing leaders of some big restaurant chains have read them and we’ve gotten some positive responses. Sometimes these contacts take time to build into relationships. That’s what we’re looking for, long-term relationships, not a quick hit.”

Young & Laramore, which was founded in 1983, is the city’s fourth largest advertising agency, with 45 employees and $46 million in 2014 capitalized billings, according to the 2016 IBJ Book of Lists.


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