An insight into Burger King’s advertising and marketing strategies.
Burger King is a reliable burger company which has had its ups and downs. In 1974, it came out with a slogan of “Have it your way” and at this time it also had a 4 % market share. Burger King’s idea was to have the customer have their burger done their way rather than a standard burger. In the early 80’s Burger King was trying to keep sales growing so they had to keep changing their advertising. In 1982 “Battle of the burgers” and “Aren’t you hungry for a Burger king now?” were the slogans used. In 1983 “Broiling vs. frying” and 1985 “The big switch”.
All these ads throughout the years helped increase market shares from 7.6% to 8.3% from 1983 to 1985. “Search for herb” was a slogan used by BK about a person that has never tasted a whopper burger, this campaign was supposed to increase market share by 10% but in reality only increased it by 1% it was a disaster. In 1986-1987 “this is a burger king town” and “best food for fast times” brought a lot of attention to the company. In 1988 “We do it like you do it” was used often but a year later they came out with two new slogans which confused the customer. In 1989 “Sometimes you gotta break the rules” and “BK tee vee” with MTV and Dan Cortese with “I love this place”. This was another huge setback for BK because people on the go and parents found this ad loud and irritating.
BK at this time has failed to establish a solid image that would differentiate it from its competitors. Ads if anything only confused consumers as to what advantages BK offered. In 1993 it had a market share of 6.1% were McDonalds had 15.6% and BK’s sales were growing slower than its rivals. Failed advertising campaigns weren’t the only problem’s, they also had internal problems. Management lacked focus and direction and has struggled with marketing mix decisions. Franchises became confused and angered, service was slow and food preparation wasn’t consistent. Burger King lost its core product-flame broiled burgers, made the way the customer wanted them. Another thing that hurt them was the fact they didn’t lower prices to keep competing with their competitors this led to a below average sales growth.
Many in store promotion also failed. In 1993 a new CEO was introduced, this allowed for huge turnaround and in fact it did. He helped please the franchises and responded to their problems and listened to their recommendations. Then later he lowered prices and hired a new advertising agency.
1. In reading this case analysis I figured Burger King to advertise the Whopper, but throughout the past years they didn’t do this. I figure the whopper or the flame broiled ads would have been more productive and probably would have resulted in greater sales margin. I also feel that the ads should have distinguished themselves from what other ads by letting the people know that burger king wasn’t just another standardized burger. Throughout the years, BK tried to establish the market by becoming someone they weren’t. I feel the ads used by BK should have been simple and to the point. This would have caused less confusion and more honesty with the customer, this is because you don’t want to advertise a pizza or a taco if your selling burgers. Read an essay establish and maintain a safe and healthy environment
Other objectives BK wanted was to target teens with the MTV approach. This also failed because people found it loud and annoying. Then they tried a sit in type of restaurant, which also failed because people want a fast food low price meal not a high priced, sit down meal. Advertising is any paid form of non personal presentation and promotion of ideas, goods or services by an identified sponsor. Advertising is a good way to inform and persuade the customer.
Advertising objectives are based on past decisions about the target market, positioning and target mix. There are five steps to making a major advertising decision these steps are as follows: Objective setting, Budget decisions, Message decision or media decision, and campaign evaluation. Along with these steps BK should also remember to inform, persuade, and to remind. These three are a must that a company should aim at, for example: in informing BK used the ad “Broiling vs. frying” in 1983 letting the consumer know that their burgers were broiled and not fried. In persuading, I think BK over did it and that is why I feel that they didn’t retain market share. They tried to be someone they weren’t with slogans like “search for herb” in 85 and many others like “BK Tee Vee” trying to persuade the younger generation and “Sometimes you gotta break the rules”. These slogans and more tried to persuade the consumer. In reminding their customers BK has done a good job. They’ve at least expanded nationally and internationally and always have commercials everywhere with a juicy whopper on the screen, reminding the viewer that BK is the only place a whopper is made.
2. BK’s past advertising and corporate strategy failed because BK did the two biggest mistakes they could have done. First they didn’t listen to the customer and second they didn’t advertise their main product a maintain a target market. In not accomplishing any of these two strategies in the past it allowed their rivals to get a lead on them. In 1993 McDonalds, for example, had a market share of 15.6 percent compared to BK’s 6.1 percent. This is because they established their market and didn’t try to invent new strategies. Burger King started to lose market shares when it first came out with the search for herb, and then it declined again when it tried to target the teenage generation rather than staying loyal to the general customer. It tried targeting the younger generation through MTV.
This became insulting and irritating to the old customers and to the quiet more relaxed people and even all the young children who prefer clowns than some man screaming on TV . BK did not listen to its customer, they tried to establish a restaurant type of business, rather than their fast food burgers. Fast food patrons really wanted low prices and quick but high quality food, not a higher priced, sit down meal. The corporate strategy and the past advertising wasn’t the only problem and wasn’t the only one at fault for BK’s failure. They also had internal problems. Management has had troubles with the market mix decisions. Service was slow and food preparation was inconsistent and many stores needed remodeling. BK didn’t focus on its burger ,instead they were trying to experiment with pizza’s and ice cream. This caused confusion ,and confusion brings problems. To add to the problems BK was more expensive than McDonalds or Wendy’s combos, which was also hurt sales for Burger King.
3. For the new advertising campaign I would personally target the young and the old generation. I would also be very health conscious and try to establish myself as an environment safe corporation. Burger King is huge, they have the ability to do what they please, but they better make sure the customer are happy. I would make new slogans, and put new ideas for kids and grown ups to enjoy. I remember when I was growing up I used to love going to Burger King for a burger and getting a little toy. Now, you get a toy but the prices are so high you really end up paying for it anyway. I wouldn’t leave out the teenage to mid-twenty’s crowd, but I feel they are less influence by ads and specials, they will buy what is probably better and cheaper. Besides if you target them when they are small growing up then when they already grow they look they like you anyway. That is why you have to target the young and make sure you are good to them. New slogans are hard to come by in specially into this society where you better watch what you say or you will get suit. I do not really believe in slogans, I personally rather buy quality than to hear how good it could be. For me seeing is believing and I do not believe everything I hear.
4. I recommend a couple of things for Burger King to do. One has already been accomplish, this was I would first change the CEO. In this case Jim Adamson stepped in July 1991, since then Burger King has made a turn around. He listened and responded to franchise problems and recommendations. He locked into a strategy of concentrating on BK’s core products flame broiled, bigger burgers. He launched a new pricing structure which will compete with that of McDonald’s. Burger King also needed to get some effective advertising, and I believe Mr. Adamson also accomplished this, seeing BK has grown since 1991. He went back to the basics which I think was the most important part of a Company’s rebuilding, because this how you got to where you are and if all else fails, it’s like starting again with experience. BK became known as “The voice of the people” opposed to McDonald’s been known as the voice of the Corporation. I also feel BK advertising has improved. Now you see burgers on TV compare to Dan Cortese a couple of years ago. You also see people having a good time and eating a whopper. I feel Burger King is a company with many obstacles but it is also a company that if is stuck to its basic game plan, it could regain a great deal of the market share. If I was to give a recommendation it would probably be for BK to stay been loyal to your customers and to try to keep the market share.