Mar 30, 2008

Burger King Reinvents Around Customer Experience

In a sign that efficiency and commoditization are waning as business strategy du jour, Burger King has announced a sweeping overhaul of its go-to-market model. On the surface, the company has sikmply announced a new retail franchise format called the Whopper Bar.

But a deaper look suggests that the company is also responding to consumers' craving - and insistance - on new, exciting experience retailing. A recent WSJ article provides a tantalizing preview of what's to come at BK:

...The Whopper Bars' look will be distinct from a typical Burger King. Workers will place toppings on the burgers in front of the customers "to put a little more theater into it," Mr. Klein said, representing a shift for a company that has always hidden food preparation from patrons. Early design plans call for the bars to have chrome, wood, exposed brick and plasma-screen televisions with images of fire playing on them to evoke Burger King's flame-broiled motto...
...the menu (could) include as many as 10 types of Whoppers, such as the Western Whopper, the Texas Double Whopper and the Angry Whopper, a version topped with spicy onions. One menu sketch has a section called "Pimp Your Whopper," where patrons can chose from additional toppings like jalapeno peppers, bacon and barbecue sauce...

Tough economy or no, it is clear we will see more and more channel champions and stewards crafting fresh go-to-market strategies for driving growth. Branded product makers would be wise to get on the train quickly. Pre-emptive strategy and business model leadership and influence roles are hard to supplant.

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