Friday, October 01, 2004

Streight Eye for the Dairy Queen Guy

DQ logo with my recommended slogan added. Posted by Hello


I can't hardly believe the bad news about Dairy Queen.

I'll try to be civil, generous, and diplomatic.

Oh, flap a banana at a flop boat, I just can't be kind about this.

Thanks to Katherine Stone over at the blog Decent Marketing for this story.

In her blog, Ms. Stone refers to a Brand article about Dairy Queen seeking a whole new look and marketing platform.

Michael Keller, Executive VP, Marketing and R&D, International Dairy Queen (IDQ) says that by turning Dairy Queens into Grill & Chills, with upscale menus, special viewable ovens, and a (disconcerting) "take a number and wait for the food to be delivered to your table" service:

"'s clear this isn't your father's Dairy Queen..."

And he goes on to say it also isn't a standard QSR (Quick Service Restaurant) otherwise more clearly known to the discerning public as a FFJ (Fast Food Joint).

He also suggests that "Dairy" and "Queen" are not "food friendly" terms.

Mr. Keller admits that Dairy Queen is most famous for its Peanut Buster Parfaits, Dilly Bars, and Pecan Mudslides.


This is, in my quick, gut-reaction assessment, marketing suicide.

An established, well-liked company should emphasize what it's famous for, not destroy it.

Take what the public already likes about you, and think of new, creatively fresh ways to maintain that heavily promoted, highly financed position. Ever heard of "legacy"? Apparently not.

So many companies are ruining their brand by deviating from a solid position, in favor of some wild and reckless "new, more contemporary" hype-mongering.

Mentally Correct Marketing is very similar to the Ries Doctrine of Positioning: take the established mind-set and enhance it.

Why trash a good position?

Why try to change what customers already love about you?

Why try to force people to think about you in a completely new and different way?

Is your old, traditional marketing angle so rotten and worthless you have to throw it in the garbage? I doubt it.

I think this is Panic Marketing.

Too many old-fashioned, reliable, nostalgic things are passing away. Now we have to add "your father's Dairy Queen" to that poignant list? Please tell me this is just a nightmare and not true life.

I repeat: take what is already good, and enhance it.

This is why I, after thinking about it for 5 seconds, came up with the proposed Mentally Correct Marketing slogan:

"Dairy Queen. Where the food is now as tempting as the dessert."

If Dairy Queen paid me, I'd spend more time trying to resolve their marketing "dilemma" and maybe be lucky enought to come up with even better slogans and marketing ideas.

But for now, this is my answer.

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