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July 2004


Tracy Wemett

I remember loving Burger King as a kid...I didn't like McDonalds because I was a member of the "King's Club", complete with ID and special prizes everytime I'd get a kid's meal. I also remember liking it because I wanted to be "different" and not go to the same place everyone else went. #2 strategies aren't so bad...you learn from the mistakes of #1, while they spend lots of money bringing awareness to your market. Go Burger King, go!

Larry Wuilczynski

Why ar tehy loosing money. Maybe becasue of their ads depicting a human being being on an operating tabel being given a new arm that fits the new burger king hamburger. Man that is disgusting to use an amputee as a ploy to sell burgers. Has not anyone at Burger Kiing have any compassion for the some 400,000 amputees across America? Maybe this ad needs pulled and the CEO of Burger King needs a call from thehead of the FCC.


I'm not an american but I've been recently to California and saw several In-N-Out's.

I strongly disagree with your assessment that In-N-Out has chosen to differentiate itself from McDonald's. It was actually a joke for me how similar the two brands were.


Mmm... In-N-Out

Jerry  Agbon

I can see the logic in this argument, though it is not without its flaws, if done the right way, the audience would respond favorably and the reward would be great. However, if done the wrong way the backlash would be a killing blow.

This is a very sound strategy when rightly applied.

Ankesh Saxena

It is really a very sound techique and should also be consider as a tool to reinforce what an organisation has to. Generally, if the Brand #2 company took Brand #1 as leader and follow them then it could cause problems too ans as well loss of customer as a major threat. I very much agree that it sould be competitative. In India, we have personalised every thing and because of which expectation of customers have gone up and when they are not matched then problems like "switching" goes on.


Reminds me of the MBA Mantra - Every company needs a Long-term Sustainable Differentiating Advantage. Poseurs rarely get anywhere.


I love this entry. #2 positions have always intrigued me. In our playbook method, making yourself the different, challenger can be a great way to win what we call a "dragrace" (see http://marketingplaybook.com/2004/05/11/the_drag_race_play.html for more on this). If you do it right, as you suggest, by picking on the big guy, you have everything to gain and them everything to lose. Do it wrong and they may squish you.

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