CKE splits brands
Tom Dougherty, CEO – Stealing Share
22 February 2018
CKE splits up two brands when it should just keep one
CKE Restaurant Holdings is launching a Carl’s Jr only ad campaign, effectively splitting the Hardees and Carl’s Jr brands. For the past 20 years, depending on where you live, you either had one or the other in your area. Each sports the same menu and even air the same ads combining the two brands. While they had different names, their brands, for all intents and purposes, were the same.
I never really understood why CKE kept the names separate. I just seems like it would have made sense to bite the bullet and change Hardees to Carl’s Jr. or vice versa. However, a consumer would never see both restaurants in the same area unless you live in Oklahoma or Wyoming. Hardees rests in the South and Midwest, while Carl’s Jr. is in the West. So there’s that saving grace.
But now, CKE wants to be even more inefficient with its marketing dollars and create two separate brands. Here is the first spot for Carls Jr.
“Let’s face it. They carry the same menu for the past 20 years with the only distinction between their customers being location. Otherwise, they are literally eating the same food.”
CKE splitting Carl’s Jr and Hardees makes no sense
The company believes the two brands have distinct customers and stand for different things. Let’s face it. They carry the same menu for the past 20 years with the only distinction between their customers being location. Otherwise, they are literally eating the same food.
I’ve written about Hardees/Carl’s Jr before. Neither shies away from being unapologetically fast food. They tell people to “eat like they mean it.”
Splitting the brands seems completely unnecessary. With two brands and two menus (I am overlooking the hardly mentioned Green and Red Burrito menus), it just means that CKE will be less focused on each. It’s like the whole fallacy of multi-tasking. People say they can perform more than one duty at a time. But research shows that when people do two things at the same time both tasks suffer. I imagine that will happen here. It’s hard enough to run one fast food company well, now CKE is going to have to run two.
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