• 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.

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Applebee’s is grasping at straws

Applebee's RestaurantCan any brand claim a more trite and unbelievable claim to a brand position than Applebee’s?  “Eating good in the neighborhood”? Someone please save me.

The deliverable product needed to support such a claim is unavailable at Applebee’s. The food is an example of average fare for a chain restaurant (not great but maybe good if you like that sort of prepackaged cuisine). But, neighborhood? Give all of us a break.

Applebee’s is a chain, not indigenous to anyone’s neighborhood. It is an unbelievable claim that feels dusty in the mouth and unpalatable to anyone with a modicum of self-awareness.

Today, on the way to the office, I passed an Applebee’s on the left hand side of the road. There it stood, looking just like every other Applebee’s I have ever seen with fake awnings and a look not too far from IHOP.

Then I noticed it. It had a mailbox on a post (like a farmhouse mail box) in front of the restaurant.

Some “brand expert” thinks this gimmick reinforces the neighborhood brand promise. Of course, if we all lived in an area with rural delivery it might actually mean something. Worse still, it’s been done before by Bob Evans.

Applebee's mailbox










But, alas, like everything else Applebee’s does, it seems trite, unbelievable and reeks of marketing.

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