Advertising and promotion strategy Essay
Advertising and promotion strategy
Since the inception of the company’s first outlet in Cleveland, Mississippi in the year 1987, Back Yard Burgers depended mostly on the word of mouth publicity to spread awareness and promote its home cooked burgers. New outlets that opened in the subsequent years expanded not only the company’s consumer base and revenue but also stressed the need for aggressive marketing strategy to sustain the increased cost of operations. Back Yard Burgers started advertising on the television in the year 1993.
The initial advertising campaigns were titled “the great burger wars” that took a punch at the competitors. In June 1994 the company launched a series of campaigns that featured Dennis R. Phillipi, a popular comedian in Memphis who soon became famous as Dennis the “Back Yard Burgers Guy”. The commercials projected the burgers as bigger, tastier, and healthier than those offered by the competitors due to its grilled cooking method that melted most of the fat. The advertising campaigns were effective in increasing sales and raising the revenue by 10 to 15%.
Launch of new products and subsequent commercials on the television featuring Dennis Phillipi was an effective strategy. The company used the audio of these commercials in radio advertising that was cheaper. In addition the company also used direct mail advertising. The company collects 1% of taxable sales from each franchisee and company-operated restaurants that goes to the national advertising fund. 50% of this fund is utilized for marketing promos through various channels like radio, television, and print media.
The rest 50% is used for market research, new product testing, and development, improvising on the operational front. The company’s marketing director monitors product launch and new restaurant opening promotions and marketing managers with a well-trained staff. The management works in collaboration with the franchisees towards advertising and promotion of its restaurants. The advertising fee earned by the company increased from $314,000 in July 1, 2006 period to $318,000 in June 30, 2007 period.
The $4000 increase over the earlier period is accounted to the 1% of sales that goes to the national advertising fund as per company policies. The company also recorded an increase in the advertising expense from $668,000 in the July 1, 2006 to $814,000 in June 30, 2007 that attributes to approximately 5% of the net restaurant sales on advertising in the past year. (see annexure for the comparative income statements). The company has been stressing on the advertising and promotion strategy but it has not been very effective. There are some important points that can be highlighted in this respect.
• The company has not been able to create brand loyalty and brand awareness in spite of good quality products and effective marketing strategy. This could be attributed to low brand visibility. This can be remedied with aggressive market campaigns that aim at the younger generation since this is the biggest consumer segment for the fast food industry. Strategies that aim for deeper market penetration, fun logo that people can relate to enjoyable food and moments are essential for brand positioning. “Fun logo” is a concept that the consumers can equate with good times.
The simple logo of McDonald’s is easily identifiable and children and youngsters can spot it from a distance – this is one of the best examples of effective brand positioning. • The other concept that the Back Yard Burgers can adopt is the use of bright color-coding for their outlets and the signboards. A bright color scheme attracts the younger generation and gives it an inviting look. The uniformity in look and feel of the franchisee restaurants and the other company-operated restaurant is essential to make an easily identifiable picture in the consumer minds.
• In running a successful brand promotion campaign the essential point is to identify the consumer segment. Who are the consumers and the target focus group for this chain of restaurants? The children and adolescents who form a major chunk of the consumer group typically favour the fast food industry. The working people segment is another segment that will stop by for fast and filling food in their office hours. Fast service food is ideal meal for this segment.
Campaigns attracting these two segments will create brand awareness and spell higher revenues for the company. • Last but not the least the quality of food and service efficiency is the crux of the fast food industry. A good and satisfying meal will have the consumers returning for more. The satisfied and happy customer will not only promote brand loyalty but will have high recommendations regarding the food and service to their friends and families. This is the greatest form of publicity that a fast food outlet can expect.