Denise Lee Yohn

To Discount or Not To Discount

Q: Other restaurants seem to be moving away from 99-cent-and-under value menus. So what is the right discounting strategy?

A: True, McDonald's has replaced its Value Menu with the Dollar Menu & More, and Wendy's 99 Cent Menu has been reconceived as the Right Price Right Size menu. But that doesn't mean the category has forsaken discounts as its primary traffic-driving tactic.

Pick a Prime Positioning

Q: What is a "brand positioning," and do I need one for my restaurant?

A: A brand positioning is a strategy statement that explains whom you are selling to, what your business scope is, and what you do to create value for your customers. A clear, definitive, and competitive brand positioning is essential to developing a great brand. So, yes, you need one.

What Great Brands Do

Q: What does it take for a quick-service brand to become a great brand?

A: I get this question all the time. Many people look at superstar brands like Apple, Southwest Airlines, and Nike and mistakenly conclude those companies achieved their successes as a result of good timing, great advertising, or just plain luck. But I’ve found that these companies have employed specific, somewhat surprising, techniques that have turned them into industry icons.

What You Can Learn from Grocery

Q: A Whole Foods just opened a block down the street. Should I be worried?

A: Yes! While a nearby Whole Foods is likely to draw traffic and attract higher-income customers to your area, it's also likely to steal sales from your restaurant. People now perceive grocery stores, including Whole Foods, Trader Joe's, and even standard chains like Kroger and Safeway, as more convenient, more affordable, and higher quality than quick-serve restaurants.

The 10 Best Ways to Do PR

Q: What does it take to get good publicity for my company?

A: Just like every other marketing tactic, public relations has undergone significant changes in recent years. No longer can you simply send out a catchy media advisory and expect to get press coverage for your news.

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