We recently mentioned that Burger King launched a new french fry called “Satisfries”. You may recall that Burger King changed the recipe and cooking method of its new fries in an attempt to reduce fat and calories. The intent was to offer a healthy alternative to their standard fries and entice health conscious customers to buy them. Shortly after Burger King’s new launch, we heard an announcement that McDonald’s was going to make a change to their combo meals by pairing healthy options (i.e. salads) instead of the usual fries.
On the surface, it seems like the normal punch counter punch in the rough and tumble world of fast food. But if you take a closer look, there are two very different marketing strategies at work that can offer valuable insights for all companies. On one hand you have McDonald’s, who usually is considered the fast food leader when it comes to its fries. And on the other hand there is Burger King, who could be considered a number two in the market. Both companies want to gain market share by targeting the same health conscious consumer. However, Burger King’s approach was to reinvent a product, while McDonald’s approach was to reinvent a product’s delivery.
Why the different approaches?
In countering Burger King’s new product launch, McDonald’s probably strategized that their market leading fries need not be changed or even reinvented to match Burger King’s new fries. After all, McDonald’s fries are a proven winner. Instead, they creatively marketed a new way to repackage the delivery of other existing products so as to directly compete with a competitor’s new product. Our sense is that Burger King probably didn’t think that was so funny, you know, funny like a clown is funny.
So what does this mean to your company? If your product or service is already a sales leader, and your company is confronted by a competitor’s new product, you may only need to retool your company’s marketing strategy to counter the competition. Think of all the time and expense you could save by trying to reinvent your own offering. You then could be the one getting the last laugh.