Posted by Abe Sauer on April 22, 2013 12:46 PM
"Stronger marketing" was one of the four identified strategies in a late 2012 "growth strategies" report from McDonald's Holdings Japan. The chain desperately needs some positive strategy in Japan, where McDonald's has reported 12 consecutive months of decreasing sales and a nearly 18 percent drop in operating profit.
Stronger marketing includes recruiting quality employees and brand ambassadors. To this end, McDonald's Japan has introduced the "Dancing McCrew," a viral hit about dancing through the workday.Continue reading...
chew on this
Posted by Dale Buss on April 19, 2013 10:32 AM
Chick-fil-A has a handle on great fast food, good service, enthusiasm about the brand and a winsome advertising campaign. But the chain has spent a good deal of the last couple of years defending the traditional-values advocacy of CEO Dan Cathy, scion of the founder of Chick-fil-A; parrying accusations by the gay-rights community and attempting to come to some accommodation with them.
Now, back to what the brand really wants to be known for: its food and service. As part of a new "transparency push," Advertising Age says Chick-fil-A will offer instant "behind-the-counter" tours to anyone who wants them. And it plans to overhaul its salads and line of chicken wraps to position them as even healthier menu options than before.
The tours are to be offered at Chick-fil-A's 1,700 locations, the magazine said, on an instant basis. That could pose some operational challenges. "It's a nice warm fuzzy, but the challenge is, how are they going to do this if they're in the middle of a hugely busy lunch or dinner hour?" Joel Cohen, a restaurant-marketing consultant, told the magazine.Continue reading...
chew on this
Posted by Dale Buss on April 17, 2013 10:43 AM
In pizza, the deeper you go, the happier you are. That's why major regional chains have been joining the big ones in the growing pan-pizza segment, why Pizza Hut is doubling down on the most traditional pizza ingredient and why even Chili's is seeing green in pizza these days.
About 20 percent of US pizza sales are now pan-style, providing much of the industry's growth. Domino's, the No. 2 chain, for example, recently introduced its first fresh-dough pan pizza. Big regional players Little Caesar's and Hungry Howie's—which also like Domino's happens to be based in Michigan—have jumped into the pan as well. Little Caesar's new Deep! Deep! Dish Pizza is considered the biggest product introduction in its 54-year history.
For Domino's, marketing its pan pizza has prompted an interesting new wrinkle in its previous positioning. It came to prominence as the guarantor of 30-minute delivery, and speed-to-mouth always has been a big part of the chain's brand. With pan pizza taking longer to cook than Domino's traditional thin-crust pies, however, the demands of quality and taste have required a different approach.Continue reading...
chew on this
Posted by Dale Buss on April 16, 2013 02:24 PM
Thanks to the efforts of a handful of entrepreneurs, American fast food is moving from a form of nutritional epithet to add an entirely new dimension: a fledgling business model that uses the quick-serve platform to get better-for-you fare into the mouths of more willing consumers.
At the same time, not to be outdone, traditional fast-food chains are tacking heavily into more nutritional fare after several years of more or less playing at it. Taco Bell, for instance, has just announced its strategy to offer healthier menu options, while McDonald's is veering more deeply into wraps.
LYFE Kitchen is probably the best known of the cluster of promising better-for-you startups which also includes Clover, Veggie Grill, Tender Greens and Native Foods Cafe. New York Times Magazine writer Mark Bittman chronicled some of what these brands are doing.
"After the success of companies like Whole Foods [and] Annie's and Kashi, there's now a market for a a fast-food chain that's not only healthful itself, but vegetarian-friendly, sustainable and even humane," he wrote. "And, this being fast food: cheap.Continue reading...
Posted by Alicia Ciccone on April 11, 2013 03:58 PM
It looks like Ford isn't the only company that employs rogue advertising agencies. McDonald's U.S. is the latest to be hit by "unauthorized" ads, and in this case, the ad actually made it out into public.
The ad in question appeared on Boston's mass transit system and was first passed around the web by intrigued commuters before McDonald's corporate got wind of it. The poster features a distressed woman holding her head in her hands, accompanied by the words, "You're Not Alone. Millions of people love the Big Mac." The ad also included an 800 number at the bottom, which reportedly connected to McDonald's corporate.
An obvious riff of a mental health PSA, the ad upset many, particularly blogger David Yamada, who snapped a photo of the ad for his blog, Minding The Workplace. "We’re living in difficult times. There are a lot of people who are struggling with their mental and emotional health. They may be highly stressed out, depressed, or even suicidal," Yamada wrote. "I’m sorry, but the ad is just too close to the real thing to be funny."Continue reading...
brand take over
Posted by Mark J. Miller on April 9, 2013 12:46 PM
After 21 years in business, Caribou Coffee is suddenly facing some very grownup decisions.
America's second-largest coffee chain announced that, as of April 14, it will be closing 80 of its locations and rebranding 88 outposts as Peet's Coffee & Tea over the next 18 months, according to a statement from President and CEO Mike Tattersfield.Continue reading...
Posted by Abe Sauer on April 8, 2013 12:34 PM
"I've been eating at KFC the last few days, could that be a problem?" ("前几天刚吃了肯德基会有问题吗") asked one Weibo user.
The coming week could be a nightmare for KFC in China. Depending on developments in an outbreak of a new strain of avian flu called H7N9, KFC could see its business decimated by another chicken scare just months after a previous one.
KFC is not the only brand worried. Tyson chicken is already rolling out damage control.Continue reading...
chew on this
Posted by Shirley Brady on April 5, 2013 02:04 PM
KFC U.S. today announced its Original Recipe Boneless menu, which it's promoting with new spots, on Facebook and with the Twitter hashtag #TeamBoneless.
As USA Today noted, "In an astonishing brand reversal, KFC is about to stake its future on a red-hot concept that might have caused Colonel Sanders, himself, to see red: boneless chicken."
More details on the move, which was three years in the making and will see more than 90 percent of KFC's menu items to eventually go bone-free, in the press release below.Continue reading...