Fast food category must beef up brands, not burgers
Tom Dougherty, CEO – Stealing Share
14 April 2011
Size by itself is now a table stake
At Stealing Share, we talk a lot about the importance of creating brand messaging that goes beyond the category tables stakes, or the bare minimum to compete in the category. In most markets, these table stakes are values like price, efficacy, proximity, etc., and they do little to build true brand preference. I was browsing a few news sites today when I noticed something rather surprising. It was a new category table stake I had not yet considered within the fast food category… Size!
The article was for the new 1160-calorie “Meat Monster” burger from Burger King (currently only available in Japan). The burger consists of two hamburgers, a chicken breast fillet, bacon, two slices of cheese, and the standard trimmings nestled between two buns. It got me thinking how flawed a brand strategy is that’s based on sheer size.
Looking deeper into the fast food category, there are competing sandwiches like KFC’s “Double Down” (a sandwich with impromptu buns made of fried chicken), Hardee’s “Monster Thickburger,” (a heart-stopping 1420-calorie burger) or Wendy’s “Baconator” (its name is self explanatory).
“Before long, an episode of “Man vs. Food” will be any of us at Burger King – and that is without even upgrading to King size.”
When we talk about table stakes, the point we always stress is that, while table stakes might provide some immediate benefits, their lasting effect on the target consumer is short-lived. At the end of the day, “more for less” is the reason why the meat Taco Bell uses is made using very little meat.
Back in 1993, the “Whopper” was all about size and how it was the biggest in the fast food category. By today’s standards, it is one of the more conservatively sized burgers. Just imagine. If the brand was for people who sacrificed “time” but not “taste”, the opportunity for preference grows substantially. Being a customer with “discerning taste” seems a much more appealing idea than simply being consumers who must consume as much as they possibly can.
Fast food chains need to take a hard as their brands, understand who their consumer is and what dictates choice, and then take new brand positioning to reflect that. Otherwise, before long an episode of “Man vs. Food” will be any of us at Burger King – and that is without even upgrading to King size.
AI Marketing Tom Dougherty, CEO - Stealing Share 25 May 2017 AI Marketing. Artificial Intelligence everywhere. AI Marketing AI Marketing (Artificial Intelligence Marketing) might feel like a stretch. Brands are hesitant to believe AI can replace human thinking. Too...
Walmart employees Tom Dougherty, CEO - Stealing Share 23 May 2017 Walmart employees get another bonus Shopping at Walmart doesn’t thrill me. Its stores are far too expansive for me to ever feel comfortable as a shopper. I never quite know where to go to find unique...
Political Ideology Creates Broken Government Tom Dougherty, CEO - Stealing Share 18 May 2017 Political ideology. Stop the madness. Political ideology The whole world is in political strife. And I believe the root cause is political ideology. It’s not surprising. I...