It took four decades and millions upon millions of dollars in market research and branding fees, but fast food giant, Burger King, just announced a radical, new tagline. Ready for it?
‘Be your way.’
Sounds more like a threat from Vladimir Putin than a brand promise from the good, ol’ king.
And, when BK tells diners to be their way, are they suggesting Americans keep ignoring the health warnings about eating fatty foods that lead to obesity which causes every conceivable kind of health issue known to man? Probably not. But still, there is an unfortunate double entendre at play here.
Say what you will, though, ‘Be your way’ is a risky departure from BK’s old bromide, ‘Have it your way.’ Not!
A BK spokesperson said the new slogan reflects the importance of personalization in society today as well as the chain’s ability to meet the customer on the latter’s terms.
I buy that. But, isn’t that what ‘Have it your way’ meant as well?
Big brands routinely pour millions of dollars down the drain making nonsensical cosmetic changes such as BK’s nuanced new tagline (although, mercifully, the restaurant chain says it’s also spending bucks to upgrade their retail locations; a move that is definitely four decades overdue).
Band-aid branding approaches such as BK’s new tagline NEVER solve the systemic problems plaguing a business. There’s a reason why BK has never caught up to Mickey D’s in the obesity wars. McDonald’s simply has cleaner and neater restaurants, better trained employees and, from what I hear, tastier food.
BK would have been far better served had it invested instead in listening to customers and improving the overall in-store experience. Once the product is fixed, the marketing whizzes can burn through a few more million dollars and devise a new tagline.
How about: “We have ways of making you be your way.”? It has a certain familiarity to it and, if nothing else, the line would certainly play well in Russia and the Crimea.