Monday, April 07, 2008

Burger King asks: would you like IM with that?

So the guys over at Three Minds @ Organic posted this picture and asked, "Shouldn't the answer be about customization of your hamburger online, not spending more time online?" And I started to wonder... Is this really a bad thing? Granted, I'm probably too connected for my own good, but I'd be willing to bet that there's a large and growing population that wants to have the option to get connected everywhere they go, and that includes fast food establishments.

To Organic's point, Burger King's first and main goal must be to produce quality (?!) food at a quick pace. If they can't pull that off, no amount of connectivity is going to help them keep their customer base happy. However, customizing your whopper online? Really? Where's the value in that? To me, BK's offer to provide web services seems much more valuable than allowing me to pull up a saved order over the web.

In a world where differentiation is becoming more difficult at the low-end, I think BK's approach makes a lot of sense: their core offering stays the same, their core audience remains unalientated, the process most critical to their business, ordering, remains simple and standard, and they maybe pick up some extra margin on the low-cost, easy-to-swap-if-they-dont-work, and partner-centric digital services that tweens, teens and twentysomethings already expect, and more are coming to use.

All that having been said, how long before the old fast food cliché becomes "would you like advanced digital and/or web services with that?" It doesn't seem to roll off the tongue quite so easily :)


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