1. Shopper & Customer

Channel Blurring is Bull-Shit Consumers want Branded Food

Chain restaurant brand managers continue to seem content practicing brand protectionism.  For those of you who do not know, brand protectionism is doing what you have always done and doing it the same way.  In the case of restaurant chains, while they have now been forced to sell their food for takeout and delivery it was the pandemic that drove that change.  Most chain restaurant brand managers went along to kicking and screaming. Why? 

When all the research consistency shows that that brand “Channel” protectionism is only important to the BRAND MARKETER. Many brand marketers are seemingly entrenched (singularly focused) “this is who we are” or “this is what we do”; that narrow focus is not in the mind of the CONSUMER. It’s time that looking a customer ahead becomes more important than looking back at 1990, 2000, or 2010.

In fact, consumers expect a freshness and newness as part of all brands. The industry term for all this is channel blurring; channel blurring studies repeatedly show that channel blurring is not in the minds-eye of the consumer, it is only in the minds-eye of the brand marketer.

Where do you sell your food?  Having spent all of my career in the foodservice niche, never have I seen a study that says there is any channel blurring.  Simply put channel blurring is a myth. All studies on the contrary see more advantages than disadvantages too selling branded food in multi-channels according to Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru®at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®.

Brand protectionism is a relic of brand marketers of the 1980’s, 1990’s according to Johnson. Does your sales building strategy look more like 1980 than today?  The real question brand marketers should be asking is not how to protect the brand, or isolate the brand, but how to best bridge the challenge of established customer deferred buying. We ask how are you reigniting your brand invitation to add relevance for you best customers, and n your next customers.

What to Build Share of Stomach

Think Outside the Box

Consumers are dynamic not static, brands must dynamic be as well if not they will slowly capitulate customers until they get to the point they cannot survive according to Johnson.  The team at Foodservice Solutions® wants to know what new points of fresh food distribution have you considered? What new fresh food products would consumers like you to offer so they can cover two meal periods rather than one when they stop at your restaurant or go through your drive-thru?

Do you believe that if the consumer is in a different channel of foodservice, then should your brand be available as an option? This includes retailers that are selling grocerant Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared, portable foods in new non-traditional avenues of distribution.

We continue to call this the “brand experience gap”, that is to say the gap in time between customers visiting their restaurants and enjoying a great meal within the four walls and those migrating to other fresh food retailers. Restaurants today need to strongly consider entering new food channels with branded product which includes some legacy products revisited, revived, and/or renewed if cultivating brand relevance is important to them according to Johnson.

Understanding how Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared portable branded food sales can edify your customer base, drive top line sales and bottom-line profits might just require a grocerant opportunity assessment. http://www.FoodserviceSolutions.usof Tacoma, WA is the global leader in the Grocerant niche providing Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat Grocerant ScoreCards. 1-253-759-7869 

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