A recent article about Burger King points to a weakness in what seemed like a profitable marketing strategy. It reveals lower earnings by the company at a time when many of their so-called “Super Customers” are leaving them. According to the article, BK has focused much of their marketing on customer 18 to 34 years old. And their marketing strategy has been to focus on entertaining and even irreverent (some say offensive) ads.
The idea seemed to be that funny ads could attract and keep their target customers. But now, due to changes in the U.S. economy and culture, BK is losing many of these customers.
Part of the problem is they are not giving customers what they want. While their competitors added lighter and healthier items to their menus, BK relied on an ad campaign and more of what they thought customers wanted. Now that people are eating healthier, the goofy ads and bigger burgers are not a strong enough draw.
This shouldn’t surprise anyone.
No matter how clever your advertisements are, they are secondary (at best). They will never overcome the wrong offering. It’s ignorant and arrogant to think you can manipulate or entertain customers into buying what you think they should buy. And it’s bad business.
Forget the big-headed mascots and questionable humor, Burger King. Ask your customers what they want and then find a way to give it to them better than your competition does. That will get your “super customers coming back in droves.