The internet has been abuzz the last few days with Burger King’s unleashing of their new menu item Mac n’ Cheetos. This new food item (and I use that term loosely) is a congealed mess of processed macaroni and cheese with a deep fried, Cheetos-flavored breading. This comes on the heels of some franchisees unleashing the Wopperito not to mention Doritos Loaded and chicken fries.
Rather than menu experiments, these food mashups are becoming the norm for Burger King. How can you be the king of burgers selling fried mac & cheese and chicken strips?
It is pretty obvious to everyone other than those running Burger King that the brand has really lost its way. I can’t even figure out what it is the chain is trying to do anymore with its brand. I assume its hope is that the Mac n’ Cheetos will drive people to the restaurants in hopes they will buy something else. But at $2.50 for 5 pieces, if you add a burger and a drink to that you are likely paying $10 or more for a single meal. I can think of a number of burger places where I would rather spend $10.
Where the brand of Burger King stands now.
The reality at Burger King is that this brand is just flapping around in the breeze with no direction or vision. That is, unless BK changes its name.
Burger King has fallen so far from where it once was. Given its recent menu introductions, it should change its name to something like Fair Food. It has become a restaurant of gimmicks, akin to the latest craze at the State Fair. Perhaps we will soon see fried butter and turkey legs.
Brand is never about a gimmick as, once the gimmick wears off, you have to find another one in a never-ending cycle. Good brands know that, to be powerful and incite loyalty, they have to be fiercely consistent, true and unfailing. A brand should be more like a lighthouse rather than a glow stick.
Unfortunately for Burger King, it is looking more and more like a fair stand instead of taking a stand for its brand.