Take a Lesson From the King

Bruger King, that is. As many of you know, I posted a blog about Burger King’s Whopper Freakout campaign. I thought it was a great example of a successful and well thought out campaign.

I happened to be reading in the Wall Street Journal this morning and came across an interview with Burger King Holdings, Inc. CEO, John Chidsey. It verified my initial thoughts by confirming that Burger King has indeed experienced a turn-around under Chidsey’s leadership. They got back to their roots (“Have it Your Way”), focused on their strengths (fire grilled food), and launched new menu items.

However, the thing that most impressed me what the number one thing he attributed to the turn around. According to the article, the first thing he said was “figuring out who our target customer was, figuring out who was the ‘superfan’ and not wasting our time trying to be all things to all people”. Sound familiar?

Why I liked the Whopper Freakout so much was that it showcases the ‘superfan’ (a.k.a. customer evangelist). However, Chidsey also made another very important point. Focus on the evangelists and don’t try to be all things to all people. In other words, the more you narrow your focus, the more you broaden your appeal.

Finally, I will leave you with the ‘5 Tips From John Chidsey to Revive a Striggling Firm’ that were quoted in the article:

  1. Focus on two or three major drivers that will make the biggest impact on the business.
  2. Create and maintain a sense of urgency and risk-taking.
  3. Know your customers.
  4. Put the right employees in the right places. (Sounds like Jim Collins’ ‘Right People on th Bus’ concept)
  5. Know your operators and regain their trust. Great relationships are key in this business.

Sounds like Chidsey has helped Burger King finally figure out the formula. I think we can all take a lesson from the King.


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