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October 2007


Laura Ries

Almost all brands start slow. So I am not worried about the slow initial growth rate. Red Bull took 9 years to reach $100 million in sales. And today (20 years later) they are over $3 billion. Coke would never have had the patience for the brand. Only now do they realize the mistake. And it is too late.

By far the biggest violation comes from brands not sticking to a narrow focus. The restaurant brands in trouble today like Applebee's, Chili's and Friday's all suffer from trying to appeal to everybody. Now that they face focused competition they are in trouble. And could become the now extinct coffee shop of the future.

Will Ashworth


The only problem with Seasons 52 is their rate of store openings. Since the first year (2003) I think they've opened only four restaurants in four years. It appears Darden is not nearly as confident as you about the brands success.

I'm from Canada where we laugh at chains like Olive Garden and Red Lobster whose formulas are little more than McDonald's gone upscale.

Seasons 52 has some pizazz and I don't think they (Darden) know what to do with something of such quality.

Jay Ehret

Great analysis. It does seem, however, that they failed your name test. Maybe something that played on the 475 calories would have been more appropriate.

Bill Gammell

I really should steer clear of your blog around lunchtime. Great post. My question to you is: of the six items you discussed above, which one item do you see violated by brands the most? I’m just curious about your opinion.

John Nesheim

Thank you for the clarity and simplicity of such an important marketing project. I have sent it to the other board members of the venture backed startup I am coaching. It is struggling with positioning in a new market.

I wish I could articulate such a complex subject as well as you did!

Please keep them coming.


Mr. Wiper,

Please leave your comments in the proper post. Your iPhone comment has nothing to do with Seasons 52. And BTW, the jury's not out yet. Follow up with us next year.

Great breakdown on Seasons 52, Laura. My money's on Darden too.

Ass Wiper

Hi Laura,

you were so right about AAPL. This company is just crap. They should be more focused. The iPhone is just a hassle and distraction. I don't know why they developed such a crap.


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