It may be that a person usually needs to hear something at least three times before it registers in their mind. But something I heard at the 15th Annual UCLA Extension Restaurant Industry Conference recently stood out to me the first time it was said—and its impression only got stronger each time I heard the point repeated throughout the day.
Denise Lee Yohn
You know the adage, “You’re known by the company you keep”? Whether we like it or not, we’re often judged by whom we know and hang around.
The same could be said about brands. In this day and age when almost everything is branded and brand messages seem to pop up everywhere, the other companies you choose to hang around with say a lot about your own brand.
I’ve got some good news and some bad news.
The good news? Mobile is hot! According to marketing services firm Listrak, there are more than 270 million mobile phones in use in the U.S. and 100 billion text messages are sent or received every month, making mobile the most popular way to communicate.
Google attributes $1 billion in revenue to mobile ads and consumer usage of mobile coupons is forecasted to exceed 300 million globally by 2014, according to Juniper Research.
My dad has a strange way of expressing his affection. He’ll often refer to me as “his favorite daughter who lives west of the Mississippi”—faint praise, given that I only have one other sister, and she lives in Cincinnati.
What do Bic underwear, Harley-Davidson wine coolers, and Jamba Juice soup have in common? They’re all ways companies have tried to extend their brands—and they all failed.
It shouldn’t have been a surprise that the rough and manly image of the Harley brand wouldn’t fit with the light and girly product attributes of a wine cooler, but the fates of other brand extensions are harder to predict.
"A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”
With all due respect, I must disagree with Shakespeare on his famous quote from the play Romeo and Juliet. Perhaps names don’t matter when you’re in love, but they matter a lot in the restaurant business. In fact, I would go so far as to say that the right name can make or break a company.
As a child I was a geek who desperately wanted to be popular. In my quest to be cool, I wanted to copy the popular kids’ rebellious behaviors like dying my hair and going coatless in the dead of winter. When I expressed these aspirations to my mother, she admonished me by saying, “Just because everyone else is doing it doesn’t mean you should, too.”
Ah, the New Year. A time for new beginnings. A chance for a fresh start, to break old bad habits and get on the right track.
At a time when people are resolving to eat less, exercise more, and spend more time with friends and family, I think quick serves might want to turn over a new leaf as well. Many fast feeders have themselves become bloated, complacent, and distracted, so let’s take advantage of the clean slate the New Year brings and resolve to make 2011 the year to get things right.
Remember the tagline, “You Deserve a Break Today”? If you’re like me, you probably look back fondly on those days when McDonald’s made it a mantra. The line signaled the spirit of the industry at the time—people really enjoyed going to fast food restaurants, and quick serves really provided a needed break from the stress and boredom of the everyday.
Setting the right price points is no easy task. In today’s post-recessionary economy, product pricing is particularly tricky because consumers’ perception of value is confounding and seems to shift constantly. People will camp out overnight for the chance to buy a $499 iPad, but you can’t seem to spark any interest in a $4.99 burger combo.