• About Tom Dougherty

    Tom Dougherty CEO, Stealing Share

    Tom Dougherty is the President and CEO of Stealing Share, Inc., and has helped national and global brands such as Lexus, IKEA and Tide steal market share over his 25-year career.

    An often-quoted source on business and brands, he has been featured recently by the New York Times and CNN, discussing topics ranging from television to Apple to airlines.

    Tom also regularly speaks at conferences as a keynote and break-out speaker. To find out more on inviting him to your speaking engagement and view a video of him speaking, click here.

    You can also reach him via email attomd@stealingshare.com.

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Why “process driven” Burger King can’t break its #2 position

On a frequent basis, Stealing Share will take a look at various markets for companies who are in position to steal market share. We send information about our process and, as brand strategists, we try to get across in a small amount of information the absolutely imperative effect brand has on a company’s success.
These attempts do not always gain the traction we would hope as many companies keep their own rose colored glasses on because taking a critical and honest look at their brands is not often an easy or comfortable task.

However, we have never had this information returned to us by the company with our unopened envelope hidden inside a new hand-addressed envelope, noting our information as unsolicited. Wouldn’t it have been easier to just trash it?

That returned letter was from Burger King, a brand whose existence in the fast food hamburger chain market has been restricted to second place, and lower than that when looking at the totem pole of overall fast food chains.

We now know why.

Burger King is obviously a company that appears to be so process driven that it takes to the time to mail back an unopened envelope rather than evaluate its contents. It is essentially claiming that it wants it to be known that: “When pursuing the success of our company and the preference of our brand, Burger King will stop at nothing short of ignorance to remain status quo.”

Napoleon once said, “If the art of war were nothing but the art of avoiding risks, glory would become the providence of mediocre minds.” Stealing market share does not involve avoiding risk. It involves being bold, memorable and intensive to your market. One can only surmise from the directness at which Burger King avoided what was so very desperate to its brand’s success that it has found comfort in its stasis.

Perhaps in time, having McDonalds eat its lunch will prompt a departure from mediocrity. In the meantime, if this is the care by which they value its brand, my suggestion to the private equity firm that bought Burger King is to invest elsewhere. Get out when you can.

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