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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.