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In-N-Out’s Burger’s #1 Marketing Rule

burger marketing

What's the one thing you do best?

It’s the number one rule of marketing. It’s that one thing we all must do. It’s the difference between a brand that is irresistible and one that is forgettable.

And if you’ve ever seen City Slickers, you may know where I’m going with this.

I recently sat in a meeting with a potential client. They’re a service firm, and they have a pretty good marketing focus on what they’re doing.

The problem is that their internal struggle is that some of the management team is fighting with the focus, and doesn’t want to give up promoting other service offerings.

In analyzing their business, we determined that no matter what the service offering, they’re really known for one thing. In this case, it’s experience. They’re the area’s most experienced firm, by a long shot. This needs to be the lead in any and all marketing efforts.

It’s what In-N-Out learned long ago. In their case, it’s fresh, juicy, burgers. It’s “all about the burger.” That’s what they’re great at. In many people’s minds, they do it better than any other fast food restaurant. Fries? Shakes? Yeah, they do those, too. But you go to In-N-Out for the burgers. They GET the other sales, too, but people will go long out of their way for the burgers, right past McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Burger King, and the rest.

What does your brand do better than anyone? What can you shout louder? What mountain top can you own?

We’ve found, with client after client, that a “focus” strategy creates better understanding and demand for the brand. It separates you from the pack. It makes you stand out. It makes you…irresistible!

Clients are concerned that they “give up” something when the focus, but we have seen time after time that you still get the other business, too. We call it “over the transom” business. It still comes in. But you can get more for the “focused” product or service because you’re seen as a leader, and it increases demand.

How does In-N-Out make their burgers even more special? Double-doubles, 4x4s, animal style, and protein style! They’ve created their own burger language by having a “secret” menu.

Every brand needs a #1 rule for their marketing efforts. As Billy Crystal held up his index finger and talked about the “one thing” everybody needs to know about the meaning of life. There’s one thing you need to know about your brand. Do it right, and the rest “don’t mean a thing.”

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