Denise Lee Yohn

Asking the Right Questions?

This month I’m answering three questions that were submitted through our online question form. While the questions cover a range of issues in the industry, the common theme is to ensure you’re asking the right question in the first place.

I have recently opened my quick serve, and for the first two weeks, response was very good. Now suddenly my sales have gone down and I don’t know what to do. Please give me some marketing ideas to reach more people.

—Anil Patil, Mr. Hungry

The Alternative to New Products

Q: We're committed to offering a streamlined menu, so we don't want to introduce a bunch of new products. What other options do we have for creating news to promote our business?

A: Great question, especially in light of recent reports that suggest the quick-serve category has become so saturated with new products that brands are reaching the point of diminishing returns.

Put Your Website to Work

Q: I'm thinking about updating my website soon. Anything I should know for that process?

A: With social media and mobile being so prominent in the marketing landscape these days, many people have stopped tending to their websites. But your website can continue to play a critical role in your company's marketing and communications strategies. The way it plays that role, however, needs to change.

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.

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