Battle of mid-calorie sodas begins, but “taste cloud” may hang over them.

PepsiTrueOK, as reported last week in a nice piece in the Huffington Post Online, here comes Pepsico with their cokelifemid-calorie soda, new Pepsi True. This is Pepsi’s answer to Coca Cola Life, the Atlanta soda juggernaut’s mid-calorie entry reported on, somewhat derisively, here on SME Brand Leverage blog, September 5.

Guess the only place where you can buy Pepsi True?

Now, while Coke is apparently going to market and sell Life pretty much in line with traditional soft drink retailing, i.e. distribution in grocery and convenience stores; media advertising, promotion and social media support, Pepsi True is using a very different and more limited distribution attack, exclusively selling on Amazon ONLY. Maybe they’ll cross promote with diet books.

Whether this reflects Pepsi’s more conservative expectations for their mid-calorie player, or just a phased “wait and see” approach before they expand to broader distribution and availability, we’ll see.

Here’s where it gets a little confusing.

Both True and Life are sweetened with a blend of sugar and stevia, a sugar substitute derived from plants that has essentially no calories (more on “stevia” below). Pepsi True contains 60 calories in a little slight of hand using a 7 1/2  ounce can; Coca Cola Life at least stands up straight and tall in its “big boy” pants in a traditional, full size 11.2 ounce can, and clocks in at 89 calories. In “normal” size (11.2 ounces) cans, they would both have nearly equal calories. So I guess Pepsi wins the calorie lightweight title using some packaging sleight of hand, but gee, what if you’re still thirsty and need to drink two of them?

(Just for the record and comparison, full size can of regular Coke has around 140 calories.)

This dive off the we-can-make-our-mid-calorie-soda-lower-than-yours board comes less than a week after Pepsi joined Coca Cola in promising to cut calories in its beverages by 20 percent, buckling under the “Fight Obesity” war cries of the world’s Food Nazis.

cokelife_canonlyPEPSI-TRUE-caseSo, is everything going to be oh-so-tasty in Mid-Calorie Land? Again, we’ll see.

This is where this “experiment” in skinny living and soda drinking is going to get interesting.

The beverage companies are getting desperate to offset rather meaningful declines in their diet soda volumes, probably a partial result of the “diet” products having having an undesirable aftertaste. As the HuffPo article lays out, now the soda giants are counting on stevia to revitalize their “lower” calories products.

But there’s a potential problem with stevia: formulas using it are sometimes perceived as having a bitter, sometimes licorice-esque aftertaste that’s unattractive to some drinkers. Earlier this year, Coca Cola’s Vitaminwater reformulated using stevia in its formula. The customer blowback was pretty rough and caused Coca Cola to retreat and return to the original formula within only one month of the change.

So, yes, we’ll see how these new “stevia” based reformulations are accepted. Companies can make mistakes. Remember “New Coke”? How bout “Pepsi Next”?

Original Pepsi  and Coca Cola drinkers may scrunch up their noses when they taste Pepsi True and Coca Cola Life. sour face

Of course they may like the new mid-calorie sodas “enough,” that they just grin and bear it….

and keep trying to squeeze into those pants that used to fit.

Please follow us on Twitter: @MrSMEbranding

And “Like” us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/smebrandleverage

 

“Heil” the Food Nazis … Free Brand Choice & Personal Responsibility Defeated

Coca-Cola, PepsiCo and the Dr Pepper Snapple soft drink makers have buckled to the Food Nazis and “promised” to lower their drinks’ calories by 20% over the next decade. alfred army

“War on Obesity” in Full Swing Now

The three largest U.S. soft drink marketers have committed to lower their drinks’ calories by 20% over the next decade. Cast as an unprecedented effort by the beverage industry to fight obesity in the U.S., the commitment was announced yesterday at the 10th annual Clinton Global Initiative in New York and lauded by ex-President Clinton (who, being married to Hillary, is probably worried about her weight trajectory anyway).

Now that we have full buy-in for the War on Obesity, I guess things will change dramatically. We will go from a nation of “little piggies”:ATT00011

To, perhaps, a country of wonderful physical specimens, perhaps something along the lines of this “Nazi family” propaganda poster of 1938:

new people of Germany

1-2-3 Let’s Change What “Thirsts” Soda Quenches

We now are going to have an industry-wide tinkering with the raison d’être of the soft drink category and brands. For what is “soda”, actually, outside of being a sometimes cloyingly sweetened beverage. Well, it IS a beverage, but why do people drink it, surely not because they NEED it and not to become obese. The emotional payoffs for soda consumption are really connected at some level with emotional experiences, way beyond, even if unconsciously, quenching one’s thirst. A reward, a distraction from a painful experience/event, a childhood memory, a connected reminiscence of someone or something … the reasons are many and varied.

But not so fast Tonto. Your emotional payoff-delivery-system, i.e. your soda, is going to have its ingredients modified, its portions downsized and who know what else.

And gee, that didn’t take long…seems like just a couple weeks ago in my September 5 Coca Cola Life post I wrote:sadface

“Over time in our increasingly regulated societies, sweetened beverages will come under increasing pressures on all sides, much as cigarettes today….sad, but that’s the way it will likely play out…”

Don’t Worry, You Aren’t Responsible & It Will Be Good For You

But don’t worry.The soft drink makers, in close coordination with their government intimidators, issued a statement concerning the category reshape that is breathtakingly Orwellian doublespeak in its nonsense.

“This initiative will help transform the beverage landscape in America,” said Susan K. Neely, president of the American Beverage Association in a statement. “It takes our efforts to provide consumers with more choices, smaller portions and fewer calories to an ambitious new level.”

The next thing they’ll be telling us, “It takes a village to raise a child.” Ooops, that one’s already taken. Maybe it could be, ‘It takes a village to stay slim.”

Please Check Your Personal Responsibility at the Door

OK, got it! Consumers did not ask for this “transformation,” but they sure as hell are going to get it. So much for customer choice and personal responsibility.This wonderful “transformation” will take all the pressure off the “fatties” out there and they will strictly adhere to a “government-pressured” diet plan (much like Michelle Obama’s oh so popular school lunch program). The War on Obesity is virtually won!

Oh, one quick question: Does anyone really think that fewer calories in a bottle or smaller bottles in a carton will actually keep fat people from figuring out a way to get their “soda fixes” (how about drinking more bottles) and becoming obese?

You know the answer … but because of the smart peoples’ “solution” for the “problem,” you and I will no longer have the soft drink choices WE want.

ATT00026

And I bet you, there will still be people like this …

Introducing New Coca Cola Life: Is It a Blockbuster or a Bomb?

The boys in Atlanta tried something like this before with “New Coke” in 1985, a reformulated product meant to take the place of the flagship brand,”Coca Cola”.

Things did not go well … is this going to be a repeat?

cokelife

Introducing new Coca Cola Life

Intended to compete in an evolving soft drink category referred to as “mid-calorie colas,” Coca-Cola Life,  is rolling into the United States following test markets in South America, supported by heavy sampling, social and broadcast media. The new product walks away from the high fructose corn syrup ingredient of regular Coke, and relies instead on a combination of cane sugar and and a sweetener from the herb family member, “stevia.” It is Coke’s effort to attract cola drinkers who want the full-bodied taste of regular Coke without all the calories. A 330-ml can of Coca-Cola Life, for instance, contains 89 calories. A similar size can of regular Coke has around 140 calories. Pepsi introduced a similar “mid-calorie”  product, Pepsi Next, in 2012, sweetened with corn syrup and sucralose. Results have been uninspiring. Coke will begin distributing Coca-Cola Life nationwide in October.

The shadow of New Coke

Context is everything. Hmmm, OK.

NEWCOKEThe story of “new Coke” is widely recalled as a new product marketing fiasco, but the company has steadfastly argued that the market context leading up to the launch is often forgotten. In 1985, the Coca-Cola Company’s share lead over Pepsi had been slowly slipping for 15 years. The cola category in general was flat. Consumer preference for Coca-Cola was dipping, as was consumer awareness.

R&D and Marketing shake things up.

Soooo, to shake things up and recover lost business New Coke was launched in April, 1985. A totally reformulated product that was to replace all (100%) of the existing flagship Coca Cola product in stores. And “shake things up” it did, just as throwing a hand grenade into a crowd would shake things up. While extensive consumer taste testing had been done and indicated that the overwhelming majority of drinkers were fine with the taste, a dangerous 10-15% of participants weren’t reacting negatively to the “taste,” but were aggressively irate that “their” iconic American brand was being, in effect, thrown in the trash.

The you-know-what hits the fan!

And here’s the behavioral psychology lesson for all of us. After the boys in the white lab coats had taken out the artificial sweeteners in Diet Coke and substituted high fructose corn syrup, they’d succeeded in creating a new, apparently tasty drink. The Marketing guys were happy that they had a new claim, “No more ‘sugar’ (cane sugar that is).” The only ones unhappy were that 10-15% of nostalgic fans who wanted NO changes and respect for their BRAND. You know the rest of the story (or lesson). Callers lit up the switchboards, at local offices and Atlanta corporate HQ. Mean, yes even what could be described as “hate” mail flooded into the office of Chairman and Chief Executive officer Roberto Goizueta (remember this was before email and the internet).

Mr. Goizueta received a letter addressed to “Chief Dodo, The Coca-Cola Company.” (He often said he was more upset that it was actually delivered to him!) Another person wrote to him asking for his autograph — because, in years to come, the signature of “one of the dumbest executives in American business history” would be worth a fortune.

Consumers threatened store managers as they emptied store shelves and warehouses, stocking up on their beloved original formula product before stocks ran out and vowing to not buy New Coke.

Coca Cola management finally “cried uncle” before 90 days had passed from New Coke’s official launch date, returning original Coca Cola to the shelves and fountain dispensers. Original formula Coca-Cola (then renamed”Classic”) returned to be sold next New Coke. Later, the name of New Coke was changed to Coke II. In the end the product in any formulation is no longer available in the United States.

Blockbuster or Bomb?

We won’t know for some time if Coca Cola Life is a successful product, in its role of what I would call a “line flanker.” Unlike its earlier generation “New Coke,” it is not meant to totally replace the flagship Coca Cola product. More likely it has at least two marketing objectives, both of which it could well achieve.

  1. Slow the erosion of the Coca Cola franchise volume by offering “health conscious” consumers a “mid-calorie” cola.
  2. Address/avoid localized “sugar” taxes/regulations that are popping up among governmental “food Nazis” intent on mandating consumer drink (and school lunch) choices in the name of obesity fighting.

So in reality, it’s not a question of “blockbuster ” or “bomb” choice. Over time in our increasingly regulated societies, sweetened beverages will come under increasing pressures on all sides, much as cigarettes today.

Coca Cola Life will offset  those pressures, somewhat, for a while, but longer term (say 20-30 years) I’m not sure there’ll be a “Coke” of any name.

Sad, but that’s the way it will likely play out…sadface

Please follow us on Twitter: @MrSMEbranding

https://www.facebook.com/smebrandleverage

http://www.SMEBrandLeverage.com

 

Humans Getting Dumber; Animals Smarter … Uh Oh.

OK, OK, I know. Just last week I posted that “some” experts were positing that we humans were getting dumber…who knows, maybe too many Jim Carrey movies?

Well this week….wait for it …now some people are theorizing that animals are actually SMARTER than we thought they were.This of course is conjecture, since aside from a certain Eddy Murphy movie, the animals aren’t telling us OR even talking, for that matter.

dog_glasses

According to a new book coming out from Time Publishing’s arm, “The Animal Mind,” the more deeply scientists look into the animal mind, the more they’re discovering it to be a place of richness, joy, thought and even nuance.

Now you might think that this is patently absurd. However, IF you accept, as I referenced last week, that in developed countries human IQ’s are and have been declining for some time. And then accept my theory that the reason for human IQ loss was because of overdependence on and overuse of mobile digital devices, and reduced “book reading”, it becomes a little more believable that animals are “smarter” than we think. After all, when’s the last time you saw a dog or cat checking their mobile for messages?

And looking at the above header of my blog, I see squirrels know how to get into a nut jar. Who knows what else animals are thinking and know about? Uh Oh.

 

 

 

 

Is the world getting dumber?

World_IQ_graph Well, the world IS getting dumber …

suggests an article in London’s Daily Mail newspaper, August 21.

Technology may be getting smarter, but humans are getting dumber, scientists have warned.Evidence suggests that the IQs of people in the UK, Denmark and Australia have declined in the last decade.Opinion is divided as to whether the trend is long-term, but some researchers believe that humans have already reached intellectual peak.”

I know the statistics presented and studies analyzed were only in the countries mentioned above, but from my perspective, I would say the growing dumber problem is not just in those three Western countries. The United States, as a leader in technology’s introduction and use, is probably leading the parade…DOWN.

1408624684843_wps_6_Confused_Student_in_LibraThe most pessimistic explanation as to why humans seem to be becoming less intelligent is that we have effectively reached our intellectual peak. Between the 1930s and 1980s, the average IQ score in the US rose by three points and in post-war Japan and Denmark, test scores also increased significantly.

But I don’t buy that. I believe there are three major influences that are putting downward pressure on young peoples’ potential IQ’s:

1. Excessive availability and use of digital devices, especially among the younger age cohorts.

Now I know that many “progressive” (in more ways than one) parents can’t wait to get their children’s hands around an iPad or other mobile device. They foolishly think that will accelerate their kids’ learning and put them ahead of the Joneses for college admissions or something. In fact just the opposite lurks. A Kaiser Foundation study found that children and youth use 4-5 times the recommended amount of technology, with potential serious and often life threatening consequences (Kaiser Foundation 2010, Active Healthy Kids Canada 2012).

images (2)You think that’s bad?  The American Academy of Pediatrics and the Canadian Society of Pediatrics  recommend infants aged under 2 years should not have any exposure to technology; kids 3-5 years restricted to one hour a day, and 6-18 years restricted to 2 hours per day! Did you get that mom and dad?

2. Excessive dependence on digital devices for companionship, basic life information and entertainment.

This one stems from the problem set up in #1 above. Young and even middle-age people today depend on their digital devices for way too many things. If you’re feeling lonely, text a friend or connect virtually through their Facebook or Instagram photos. Checking out at retail and not sure how much change you get from a $50.00 bill on a $46.21 purchase? No problem. Your cell phone calculator will tell you. Hell, rather than observe and learn from the rich, stimulating human theater going on around you, why not watch a movie on your device and listen through your ear buds. You may be physically on the subway, but not mentally.Tune out, man!

We shouldn’t be surprised that digital device addiction is growing at an alarming rate.

3. Fewer and fewer people read BOOKS anymore, and that is a bad thing.

The Atlantic has a piece titled The Decline of the American Book Lover. We’re talking here about all books, but the decline in read hard cover tomes is disturbing. From the Atlantic, “Without question, the American bookworm is a rarer species than two or three decades ago, when we didn’t enjoy today’s abundance of highly distracting gadgets. In 1978, Gallup found that 42 percent of adults had read 11 books or more in the past year. Today, Pew finds that just 28 percent hit the 11 mark.”

And for people who don’t read, their vocabulary is just like a muscle, it atrophies without use/exercise. And most educators accept that if vocabulary shrinks it threatens learning, confidence, future job prospects, relationships, and even the ability to understand a joke. And that means you’re DUMBER.

So there you have it. It appears people in the developed countries are losing little bits of their aggregate IQ over time. I would bet it is not as pronounced in Asian countries even with their astronomical rates of digital device use (probably because of the Asians stronger commitment to and parental pressure on education; but give them a generation or two and they may well drift down to more Western levels).

What’s it mean for branding?

Duh … I don’t know.

.

 

 

 

Falstaff Beer — Gone, but not forgotten.

falstaffThis post doesn’t have a lot to do with “branding” per se, but it’s an opportunity for me to recollect and revisit, however briefly, a brand of cheap beer that I grew up with in Saint Louis, Missouri — Falstaff.

Falstaff was started in 1883 by the Lemp family and closely held by them until it’s sale in 1921 to the Griesedieck Beverage Company. It was one of two major breweries in Saint Louis . (Recollection #1 — I’ll warn you upfront about the sick humor that follows, but you can imagine the juvenile laughs we underage, male beer drinkers found in referring to our purchase and consumption of some “Greasy D–k” beer.)

Griesedieck/Falstaff was always overshadowed by the Anheuser Busch brewery which continually fought Schlitz Brewing (in Milwaukee) for #1 beer brand in the United States. However, Falstaff did have its moment in the sun in the mid-1960’s when it was the third largest brewery in America. (Recollection #2 — In the 1940’s there was a humorous joke going around describing Saint Louis as being “First in shoes, first in booze and last in the American League.” With two of the top three breweries in the United States located in Saint Louis, and the industry-leading Brown Shoe Company founded in 1875 also there, all that was needed to complete the joke was a lousy  American League professional baseball team. The Saint Louis Browns met that requirement easily, having only 11 winning seasons over 51 seasons played).

Ultimately Falstaff was the victim of beer industry consolidation throughout the 1970’s and 80’s, but held on grudgingly and usually as a “low price” brand, not discontinuing production until 2005. (Recollection #3 — Falstaff’s “price brand” days were in full swing when I was coming out of high school and taking a razor blade and glue to my paper drivers license to masquerade as of legal drinking age 21, when I was in fact only 18. I remember one weekend when Falstaff was on special at the local liquor store for $2.49 per 24 can case. That works out to about a dime a can of beer, and even in 1963 that was a deal).

“Those were the days my friends. We thought they’d never end.” Mary Hopkin 1968

 

 

 

 

McDonalds starts the 18 month branding “road back.”

Md'sMcDonald’s business these last six months has been rather disappointing. It results from a combination of increased, more attractive competitors and a menu that is at odds with a growing segment of fast food consumers who want to eat fast and inexpensively, but somewhat nutritionally sensibly, as well.

To address this business problem AND opportunity, the chain is setting aside the next 18 months as a period not only to develop the normal lineup of new menu items but also to rebrand itself. McDonald’s knows it needs to be an appealing place to eat, not just a cheap one.

McDonald’s says their repositioning won’t necessarily involve the typical hallmarks of a rebrand, such as a new logo or total design overhaul, but will instead focus on reworking the basics: better value, service, marketing, and menu.

And of course, from our perspective here at SME Brand Leverage, they will need to pay close attention to the brand’s current emotional strengths, as well as making sure they fit against the altered consumer marketing environment they are facing.

The goal is to become a “more trusted and respected brand,” said Don Thompson, McDonald’s chief executive. The McDonald’s brand has taken some hits over the recent years:nutritional concerns, lack of blockbuster product launches, and employee issues, mainly concerning wage issues. Informally, it seems to have gone a little “stale,” and not the most attractive option for consumers when picking a fast food destination. According to Infegy, a company that analyzes social media, 38 percent of online conversations about McDonald’s over the past year have been negative.

To create a dining experience “customers will feel good about,” as Thompson puts it, may be a lengthy and somewhat challenging process, but if any brand can return itself to the top of the competitive heap, it’s the team from Oak Brook, Illinois (McD’s corporate headquarters).

Let’s see where they stand in January, 2016.

 

 

As a branding component, Australian tourism advertising misses a great opportunity.

“THERE’S NOTHING LIKE AUSTRALIA”Print

“There’s nothing like Australia” is Tourism Australia’s global consumer marketing campaign highlighting some of the the country’s very best attractions and experiences on offer. Apparently the campaign has been judged effective, since after three years the Australia Office of Tourism is developing new advertising creative, using the same tagline.

Now don’t get me (or the headline to this post) wrong. I like Australia, have been there only once , but was impressed with the range of tourism opportunities. In other words, I like the country and its people.

HOWEVER, (and you knew this was coming didn’t you?) in crafting the campaign’s one universal phrase, tagline, slogan, whatever you choose to call it … the element that appears in every piece of marketing material, the Aussie branding team seemed to take the easy way out.

I can appreciate that “There’s nothing like Australia” was designed to be long-lasting and flexible, something which could be updated as necessary to stay relevant and be used in a myriad of partner associations and geographies. The trap the marketing team either fell into or just didn’t try to avoid was that by creating something that had “one size to fit all”, their end-result was something that didn’t necessarily  fit me or tell me why I should go to Australia instead of Thailand.

After all, with just four words, I can accept “There’s nothing like Sri Lanka,” and of course, “There’s nothing like Poland,” nothing like Iceland,Tahiti, etc. either. My point is the line doesn’t do anything to really make Australia different or special.

Now I realize those four words will almost always travel with visuals and copy expanding on the premise, but why not make the line work even harder by allying it with an emotional connection that can go further in rationally differentiating Australia AND emotionally appealing to consumers.

I don’t have the magic bullet suggestion or answer, but I think that tagline could be energized by adding an emotional payoff or connection that prospective visitors might get. Australia has so many amazing attributes and offerings that call to and stimulate people to consider traveling there.

I’ve ventured out on this shaky limb, so here are a couple of off-the-top-of my-head thought starters, and remember, I’m  not auditioning for for an agency job in Sydney.

“There’s nothing like Australia, and that makes it special for you.”

“There’s nothing like Australia for someone just like you.”

“For life’s adventures, there’s nothing like Australia.”

OK, you get the idea. I can hear the brickbats crashing against this blog’s web address, but you can’t say I didn’t at least try to demonstrate where I think things could’ve been better. Sure, Sri Lanka, Poland and others could also say the things I’ve offered above, but remember, this was only a five minute exercise.

My intent is to suggest that even a branding signature line that necessarily needs to be very flexible could try harder for an EMOTIONAL connection, and not just stop with what is really (by itself) just a literal undifferentiated statement.

 

 

 

 

 

Another venerable gasoline brand bites the dust…but its toy trucks keep rolling.

A few days ago, a friend called the news below to my attention. Kinda made my eyes water, as I thought about the old “Seven Sisters” and the many gasoline brands (Gulf, Marathon, Texaco, Conoco Phillips, etc.) they used to market (not including Hess, as it wasn’t one of world’s seven largest oil companies).

hessstationHess Corporation announced it was divesting itself of its retail gasoline stores. The move will affect 1,350 gas stations—many owned by Hess itself—that operate in 18 states on the Eastern Seaboard. The gas stations serve as many as 1.3 million customers a day.”

Hess was never a large NATIONAL gasoline retailer in the United States, but in the 50’s it probably had nearly 5,000 stations in New England and Eastern Seaboard states. This at a time, when the nation’s largest nationwide retailer, Texaco, had 15,000 stations in what were then 48 states. Although marketing in a smaller geography, Hess as a regional marketer, had a sizable brand franchise, especially when one considers the population then was skewed in many ways to the North East and Middle Atlantic.

Well, anyway…that was then…this is now and Hess stations will be no more. OK, so you won’t be able to buy “Hess” gasoline anymore, but you can still get the brand’s toy trucks for the holidays.

1997-hess_truck

 

 

 

The “little toy trucks” for Hess and other gasoline retailers live on as collectibles and brand mementos. Texaco may have originated this particular marketing tactic sometime in the 50’s or earlier, but many of the gasoline players adopted it. I never bought one; maybe I was just not into “toy” vehicles, preferring instead to burn ants with my magnifying glass, or later throw firecrackers at the minnows we attracted to our chumming with crackers at Winter’s Pond.

OK, so I was a strange lad, but if you want a Hess toy truck, aside from the obvious eBay or Amazon, there’s actually a Hess Toy Store where you can shop online www.hesstoystore.com/ .

Not sure they sell magnifying glasses, though.

 

 

GAP Gets It….Burger King Doesn’t

Image: GapBurger King Announces Safety Move in Play Areas

 

 

 

 

 

Couple of interesting pieces of “brand” news yesterday caught my eye. One was for the GAP retailer and reported not so much a change in branding, but actually a testament to brand continuity (although with continual appropriate contemporary updating). The other was about fast-fooder Burger King, changing to a new advertising slogan, one that is intended to make “a connection with a person’s greater lifestyle”. Here’s my take on both.

GAP stays close to its iconic history.

GAP understands it’s always had a connection with its customers. Since 1969, the brand has rallied around fun, joyfulness, optimism and inclusivity. And now the nearly 50 year old brand has set its sights on keeping itself relevant to its original franchise customers who are obviously much older now, as well as the continually new prospects teen age and younger.

But while working hard to build on its iconic history with younger customers, using very modern tactics like social media and emotion-generating music, GAP didn’t find a need to dramatically reinvent the brand.

Your long-term purpose and the tone of your brand and your belief system should never change, but the way you express it can change time and time again,” says GAP Chief Marketing Officer, Seth Farbman.

Burger King shifts dramatically to “lifestyle.

After 40-years of the advertising slogan “Have It Your Way,” Burger King is scrapping it in favor of the more personal “Be Your Way.” The company says the new slogan is intended to remind people that “they can and should live how they want anytime. It’s ok to not be perfect … Self-expression is most important and it’s our differences that make us individuals instead of robots.”

Whoa, whoa whoa Trigger! Now I’m as much into keeping things fresh, updated and relevant to the branding environment one markets within, but let’s not forget….we’re selling burgers here, not dispensing or enabling pop self-psychiatric therapy.

It just keeps getting better. Fernando Machado, Burger King’s senior vice president of global brand management (who just joined the company in March), noted in an interview that “Have It Your Way” focuses on only the transaction — the ability to customize a burger. By contrast, he said “Be Your Way” is about making a connection with a person’s greater lifestyle. Hmmmm. “We want to evolve from just being the functional side of things to having a much stronger emotional appeal,” Machado said.,

Well, we’ll see about that Fernando. Seems to this observer (who has certainly downed triple digit numbers of BK burgers) that it’s all about my food purchase choices and the taste, quantity and consuming environment. Together they should generate some sort of emotional end-benefit, sure; but  connecting with my “greater lifestyle” ? Like I said: we’ll see.