Wednesday, March 12, 2014

McDonalds, Burger King, Wawa Gladly Battle Waffle Taco Marketing Blitz

In just over a week Yum Brands, Taco Bell operating unit will burst on the Internet, Newspapers, TV, Radio in what AdAge describes as a “Massive Marketing Blitz” for what Yum Brands calls a ‘Paradigm Breaking’ new breakfast menu that is being rolled out.

The Paradigm may not break for the Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared breakfast leaders.  They are prepared for the fight.  Even when a new report out from The NPD Group reported that the breakfast day-part visits were up 3 percent last year, and traffic for most other day-parts fell. Don’t expect McDonalds, Burger King, Wawa and all others to give up market share without a fight.

McDonalds, Egg McMuffin and Burger Kings Croissan’wich are well established industry leading products much copied yet consistently not equaled in price, service, and quality. Then there is industry leading regional convenience store operator Wawa selling 195+ million cups of coffee a year.  Success does leave clues and one clue is customer trial is one thing; sustainability another. 

It’s not a matter of if, but when McDonalds, Burger King and Wawa enter the marketing messaging fray over the breakfast day-part.  When they do the halo of their branded legacy breakfast combined with price will create a new value proposition of consumer relevance, strong enough to shift consumers back from trial to incentivized routine. Do not discount the value of competitive messaging targeted at one new day-part player or the importance consumers place on routine.

The Waffle Taco is good. I have tried them here on the West Coast.  However, it is not as consistently good as a Croissan’wich, Egg McMuffin and in my minds-eye Taco Bells coffee can’t hold a candle to Wawa’s.  More important from California to Washington there are lines around McDonalds during the breakfast day-part and I never see more than a spattering of cars at Taco Bells serving breakfast.

Marketing dollars drive valued consumer messaging.  When messaging combines a competitive price the value of the messaging increases for the consumer. I expect that buy July the price, value, service equilibrium will be recalibrated during the breakfast day-part with legacy industry leaders benefiting the most. 

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