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Burger Wars Shows Inaction

The news of March 20, 2012 that Wendy's has officially passed Burger King to become the second-largest US fast-food chain should not come as a big surprise. McDonald's, of course, still feeds the giant share of American diners (no pun intended) with more than $32 billion in sales. In comparison, Wendy's finished 2011 with $8.5 billion and $8.4 billion for the tiring Burger King.

And that's the point-- Burger King is tired. From a marketer's perspective, they've had several mis-steps in recent years. They didn't listen to feedback about the "Creepy King" mascot. What focus group wouldn't have had valuable input on just how far that character was taking the customers' attention from their core product?

Some other differences: McDonalds has 18 million Facebook fans; Burger King is nearing 7 million, Wendy's about 2 million on the official page. Okay, social media's important, but it just can't overcome weak advertising.

However, the biggest factor in Burger King's demise boils down to product. McDonald's has focused heavily on adding, tweaking, and "opportunizing" with dozens of new or "repurposed" items in the last few years (look at the Big Mac Snack Wrap, McCafe, and fruit Smoothies). Wendy's simply outperformed Burger King in this category too.

Two simple lessons here:

  1. Advertising should make your product irresistible to your audience (make me hungry, not wierded out by the King; introduce me to wonderful-sounding items new on your menu)
  2. If you're not developing the new and fresh ideas, your competitors will. Not just in fast food, in every business.

If we can help you develop a stronger on-air and on-line marketing plan for your local or regional product or service, give us a call at Ad House Advertising today. Serving Albuquerque area businesses with common sense advertising and integrated marketing strategies.

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