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Brand Protection Stifles Restaurant Growth

Restaurant brand protectionism is what many chain restaurant marketing managers focus on and continue to do. All retail food and restaurant industry research consistency shows that that brand and or “Channel” protectionism is only important to the BRAND MARKETER. The research concludes it is not important to the consumer.

Many brand marketers are seemingly entrenched (singularly focused) on “this is who we are” or “this is what we do”. That narrow focus is not in the mind of the consumer. In fact consumers expect a freshness and newness as part of all brands including in menu and points of distribution.

The industry term for all this is channel blurring. Channel blurring studies repeatedly show that channel blurring is not in the mind of the consumer, it is only in the mind’s eye of the brand marketer. Only when chain brand marketers truly understand that the consumer is dynamic not static will a concept be able to move to the next level or in today’s world maintain market share.

Brand protectionism has stifled, growth, profitability and long term viability of many a chain. Burger Chef, Shakey’s are just two names of those chains that were stuck in time and are falling or have fallen to the wayside of success. Grocery stores and C-store leaders are better at experimentation and introducing new fresh food formats, points of distribution and ready-2eat and heat-N-eat fresh prepared food.

In addition both C-store and grocery stores have leveraged price as a competitive advantage. McDonalds and Burger King are two brands that are expanding beyond brand protectionism building sales with non-traditional product and points of distribution as we have repeatedly documented here are this blog as regular readers know.

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About Steven Johnson

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Do you know who your competitors are today?  Do you know what they are selling? Do you know what your customers think of their food?  No? Well, maybe it's time to get a Grocerant Scorecard completed by the Grocerant Guru.

Steven Johnson is Grocerant Guru at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions® and a recognized food industry thought leader. Johnson excels at vertical brand and product positioning, marketing strategy and business development specifically identifying, quantifying and qualifying niche opportunity for global foodservice related activity.  He can help place new products in non-traditional channels of distribution.

 With an emphasis in grocerant niche, his focus has been on better for you food that is fresh or prepared ready-2-eat and heat-N-eat.  He developed and implemented of the 5 P’s for food marketing for all retail foodservice companies, including chain drugstores, grocery stores, QSR’s and particularly C-store clients.

 During the past 15 years he has developed over 7.5 billion Dollars in avenues of new business revenue for clients and companies. His experience has focused primarily on C-level sales and brand  building opportunity with industry leading international companies including: The Procter & Gamble Company, Papa John’s International, Minnesota Mining & Manufacturing, Chi Chi’s, TGI Fridays, Fuddruckers,, Technomic, The Hartman Group.

 Prior to Foodservice Solutions, Johnson worked for the US Department of the Navy, where he led the development of Parcheesi’s Pizza Pasta Plus for global roll out and implementation including the development of the first dockside mobile pizza kitchen for use by the US Navy during the first Gulf War.

Johnson holds a Master’s of Science in Food Marketing degree with distinction from Saint Joseph’s University and a Bachelor of Art degree from the University of San Francisco. He is a member of Beta Gamma Sigma, the International Business School Honor Society.  Johnson has received numerous awards including 3 EMMEY; Awarded by 3M for “Outside the box” thinking and team leadership. Food Marketing Award; Awarded by Saint Joseph’s University, Outstanding Service Award issued by the Boy Scouts of America.

Don't get trapped doing what you have always done. Position your company with the evolving consumer. Interested in learning how Foodservice Solutions 5P's of Food Marketing can edify your retail food brand while creating a platform for consumer convenient meal participation, differentiation and individualization? That's simple, call for Outside Eyes call the Grocerant Guru. Email Steve at: or visit: for more information. Visit us at, or tweet Steve at

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