Friday, August 17

Applebee's After Hours

There's an unusual phenomenon happening in our suburbs lately that I'm finding most interesting.  Applebee's is becoming the hot after hours place for the young, hip crowd.  Applebee's young and hip?  Apparently.

And here we thought the hottest clubs were behind the velvet rope in Manhattan and Vegas!  Wrong, it's right there in America's parking lots.

Of course this isn't happening by happen stance.  It's a conscious promotion from the brand to increase its sales by opening up a new eating and drinking occasion ... late night.  Sort of like what Taco Bell did by creating the 4th meal (a late night snack) awhile back to drum up incremental sales.

Of course with a bar bill attached, we're talking higher out-of-pockets than just burritos with Mountain Dew, which is of course the plan.

It's actually very smart.  After hours is a hot trending topic so associating your brand with a pop culture behavioral movement is a sound strategy ... provided your brand can deliver and is believable.  Apparently Applebee's does and is.

Have you been to one ... what's your experience?  Jim.

Jim Joseph
President, Cohn & Wolfe North America
Author, The Experience Effect series
Professor, NYU

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