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Burger King unveiled a new slogan, “Be Your Way,” along with a marketing campaign targeted at the Millennial generation. While the new tagline is similar to the brand’s longstanding, iconic “Have It Your Way” slogan, experts say it reflects a new focus on customers’ way of life rather than the chain’s food and service.
The first TV spot from the campaign features young men at a convenience store attempting to trade a $1 Burger King hamburger for a lottery ticket. “It’s irreverent and suggests the Millennial lifestyle of defining your own identity,” says Leeann Leahy, president of The VIA Agency, a marketing consultancy based in Portland, Maine.
The slogan switch is risky, branding experts say, and could fall flat. “I don’t think customers will give Burger King credit for a lifestyle change,” says Mary Chapman, director of product innovation at Technomic Inc., a Chicago-based consulting firm. The new tagline speaks to a trend likely identified by research, but seems too literal, Leahy adds. “A great tagline is true to the brand and what it does for the consumer,” she says. “Ultimately, a tagline should reflect the brand’s soul with creative flair.”
Time will tell whether Burger King’s new slogan resonates with consumers, but a recent and similar change by competitor Dairy Queen has been met with positive consumer response. The chain switched its tagline from “So Good It’s RiDQulous,” to “Fan Food, Not Fast Food” about a year ago. “The new tag line is better at relating to consumers on an emotional level,” says Barry Westrum, executive vice president of marketing at American Dairy Queen Corporation.
Since the new Dairy Queen marketing campaign launched, engagement scores—measures of social media shares, comments, and content retweets—have tripled, Westrum says. Same-store sales and profits, meanwhile, have outpaced competitors over the past 12 months, he adds.
A slogan alone won’t reap such rewards, but the impact of a stellar motto can be significant. “It summarizes the brand’s positioning in consumers’ language,” Westrum says. “It’s also an internal rallying cry.”