Burger King loses its way

May 21, 2014

What kills most marketing programs is “change.”

When you keep changing your slogans, you confuse consumers and after a while they don’t attention to what you are trying to say.

Over the years, Burger King has had a lot of slogans. Remember “Where is Herb?” Burger King spent over $40 million trying to find him. They never did!

Three of Burger Kings were powerful and each if used consistently could have done more to build the brand.

“Home of the Whopper.”

“Broiling, not frying.”

“Have it your way.”



Your way

So what is Burger King doing lately? The same thing they have done in the past. Changing their slogan for the umpteenth time. The new slogan: “Be your way.”

Read the Associated Press story.

Be your way? What does that mean? And what does that have to do with a hamburger chain?

Obviously, Burger King means to connect its new slogan with one it has used in the past, “Have it your way.” But why? Try asking for a Whopper “medium rare” in a Burger King today and you’ll get nothing but a blank stare.

Fernando Machado, Burger King's senior vice president of global brand management, noted that the new slogan is an attempt "to evolve from just being the functional side of things to having a much stronger emotional appeal."

Words are not emotional. Visuals are what add the emotional element to branding. The best strategy is to use words that can be visualized in order to deliver emotion. How do you visualize “Be your way?” You can’t.

The best idea they ever had the one that is best visualized is the broiling vs. frying. But they gave up on that decades ago.

My prediction? “Be your way” will be long gone by this time next year.

In an overcommunicated society, your best strategy is to take your time to find exactly the right slogan to use. And then use it virtually forever.

 “A diamond is forever” is 66 years old.

“The Marlboro cowboy” is 61 years old.

“The ultimate driving machine” is 39 years old.

“Just do it” is 26 years old.