The fast food industry has unstable in the last few years with major category players posting losses quarter after quarter. Arby’s is bucking the trend and posted a rather nice increase of same-store sales in the first quarter of 2015 of 9.8% system wide.
Arby’s has done a rather nice job of positioning itself within the fast food category because it has its own niche. Arby’s as a product is always been something a little different, traditionally focused on roast beef sandwiches. It’s relatively new positioning summarized by Arby’s We Have the Meats campaign is both true to its core business as well as differentiating in a crowded marketplace.
“We have the meats” is after all the only reason that people go to Arby’s in the first place, to have a hot ham and cheese or piled-high roast beef sandwich. But more than that, this positioning has helped Arby’s redefine what it does internally, including bringing even more “meat centric” items to its menu. Simply put, Arby’s is for those who want the meats.
Just wish the campaign itself was executed better.
Arby’s revenue numbers do not lie. This unique positioning is working, especially as competitors are trying to out-menu each other.
What is interesting to me, however, is that the execution of this position is mediocre at best. Given how unique the position is, I would really like to see advertising messages that are a little more emotional. But the reality is that this positioning is so good and, in a crowded market where the other guys are either saying the same thing or nothing at all, Arby’s is succeeding.
Let’s face it. Even when you consider the mediocre execution of this position, it still goes to show that a position that is both different and better than everything else in the marketplace and stays true to its core business can be successful even in a declining market.