Tuesday, August 23

Burger King Without The King

He's been an "in and out icon" for the brand since 1955, but last week Burger King put their King on hiatus.  The brand didn't retire him or fire him, just put him on hiatus.  Why?  He wasn't doing his job ... sales are down significantly.

This is a pretty interesting marketing story, actually.  Evidently the target market for Burger King is young men, particularly teens.  Well those guys have been one of the groups hardest hit by the economy and they've cut back their Burger King fixes and the brand is suffering as a result.  They are not getting jobs like they used to and the current installment of the King just isn't motivating them to spend what little money they do have.  Also, the current King has been identified as being a bit "creepy."  I have to agree.

So what's a brand to do?  Target moms!  Burger King is now actively going after moms with messaging about freshness. Not sure how motivating that is either, it's nothing new.  At least the Baconator (Wendy's) sounds interesting.  Although Wendy's isn't doing very well either.

Maybe their time is just passed?  Burger King used to the #2, and a close #2, to McDonald's, and Wendy's was right up there as well.  Now Subway and Starbucks have blown them away, and Chick-fil-A grabs a lot of attention too.  Are the fast food wars just too much for Burger King?

Not sure ... but I have a feeling we'll see the King again ... the paper crowns are still available in store!

What's your experience?  Jim.

Jim Joseph
President of Lippe Taylor
Author of The Experience Effect

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