Thursday, September 24, 2009

Bandwagon marketing; what’s happening to Restaurant marketing?

Joel Cohen who writes:, in discussing discounting recently stated that “Discounting is the penalty you pay for being unremarkable. “ That got me to think about the four P’s of marketing. Price, Product, Place, and Promotion the four P’s are the framework that Brand managers and chain leaders can control, albeit limited to their ability and willingness. The objective is to make decisions that focus the four P’s on the consumer generating perceived value and ongoing relevance for the consumer i.e. building brand value and ongoing customer loyalty.
Recently we have witness within the restaurant industry Bandwagon or Copy-Cat marketing! For example Kids Eat Free! From companies like Fuddruckers, IHOP, Aura Restaurant Boston, Tropical Smoothie, Boston Market and even Holiday Inn. In both the long short run and long term Copy-Cat marketing is flatly UNREMARKABLE. Chain leaders might want to visit a local college this fall and drop in on a Marketing 101 class. The four P’s at one time contributed directly to the above mentioned company’s success and growth.
It’s disappointing witnessing chains focus on internal generated value points such as growth, new logos, uniforms or executive team members over the customers. Consumer are dynamic not static they are remarkable in how the evolve as loyal customers. When marketers are more worried about protecting the brand than following the customer’s sales lag, profit dip and customers wonder. Copping promo’s such as $1.00 cheeseburgers or kids eat free will never produce long term results. It’s no wonder that the Grocery and Convenience store sectors are garnering a larger share of the consumer’s food dollar more importantly growing share of stomach. Grocerant program assessments available from Foodservice Solutions based in Tacoma, WA 253-759-7869.


  1. Good post. I'm not a fan of chain food marketing to begin with. They base everything on 'cash flow' not profitability. I do like $1.00 cheeseburgers, but it's a commodity to me. I don't care, or know the difference between Wendy, McD, or Taco Bell. I buy on price points, not brand. And that is their long-term challenge. I will never go out of my way for fast food.

  2. Oh. One addition. Remember when Wendy's and Coors beer actually had a 'brand'. At one time these brands were exclusive. You could only get Wendy's in certain geographies and Coors was only sold in the West. I used to ship Coors back in my suitcase, and would go out of my way for Wendy's in Ohio. What happened? They both became a commodity based on 'cash flow' greed. Expanded markets and now they both are Miller and McD. It doesn't really matter.

  3. Joel has a point with the unremarkable comment but it excludes the obvious too. You may in fact be quite remarkable, but if no ones knows you are, well then what's the point? The commdity based cash flow tied in with some degree of greed also seems relevent. A $1 main course food item is indeed a commodity regarless of what it is made out of yes?

  4. I agree with both of you! $1 entree and free kids meals are in fact commodity marketing! The question is Why? It's simple C-level leaders who would rather follow than lead.