Thursday, March 27, 2014

Restaurant Food Innovation Is it Copy or Parrish or Copy and Parish?

Foodservice Solutions® Grocerant Guru™ Steven Johnson often says “Today differentiation does not really mean different it means familiar with a twist.” The problem is copy-cat product and copy-cat marketing only works in a duopoly.  The restaurant industry is not a duopoly. Some are going to lose, soon.

Corporate marketers with legacy restaurant chains strive to keep up with their competitors. When they fall behind (lose market share) in days gone by they would lose their job! Not in today’s world, they simply copy what the industry niche sector leader is doing, quieting disgruntled franchises or shareholders.

When this occurs success is based on points of distribution and product price, rather than creating incremental brand value. Everyone loses; stakeholders, shareholders, franchisees most importantly consumers.

Management complacency and mediocrity seem to be today’s status quo rather than consumers focused driven brand teams.   Life is simple for chain C-level executives, don’t risk innovation, follow the leader, and maintain niche equilibrium and the stock options and paychecks keep rolling in.  The loser may not just be the consumer from lack of true innovation, brand values drop, consumer brand apathy increases, and market share capitulation is a direct result. Is this what happened it Darden?

In reality differentiation becomes product price points rather than innovative new products, or service.   Then price and location become more important value than the brand.   Simply put the branded chain restaurant status quo is broken. Traditional restaurant brand building practices are no longer effective; they aren't just broken, they simply no longer work. They are Kaput, Dying, Replaced, they are Yesterday.  The customer has moved.  Have you? Has your brand?
Legacy brands simply capitulate market share as an unintended consequence copy-cat marketing and executive compliancy.  Is your company more like yesterday than tomorrow? Copy-cat marketing can be the seductress of compliancy and mediocrity for CEO’s & COO’s of major restaurant chains today. Is your company in a quagmire of 1980’s, 1990’s or 2000? Success does leave clues.

Visit:  if you are interested in learning how Foodservice Solutions 5P’s of Food Marketing can edify your retail food brand while creating a platform for consumer convenient meal participationdifferentiation and individualization or you can learn more at Johnson, or

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