How A Square Patty Can Save Your Buns! (pun intended)
Posted by Wayne in Business Growth, Marketing
You’re gonna do what? That’s crazy….you’ll never make it! The economy sucks. The competition is fierce. Why waste your time? You don’t stand a chance. Why don’t you just buy a franchise?
So much for encouragement, huh?!
Dave really didn’t care – he had a grand vision. I know, a lot of people have grand visions and great dreams for their businesses….but Dave was willing to risk it ALL to reach his vision.
In 1969 Dave’s dream began to slowly materialize. Despite the insurmountable odds and criticism from every direction, Dave was determined.
To be honest, I would have probably been one of Dave’s critics. The competition was way too far ahead, and they had plenty of capital and resources to crush Dave’s dream.
When Dave started his business in 1969, he had to compete with two very large competitors.
Competitor “A” had already been in business for 15 years and had over 1,000 locations across the country.
Competitor “B” had also been in business for 15 years and had over 250 locations across the country.
Dave didn’t care what Competitor “A” or “B” had! Dave knew he could do things better than his competitors. But how could he convince the American public that his ideas and products were better?
Dave was a fighter and a marketing genius.
There are three strategies Dave utilized to take on his competitors (and lots of money isn’t one of them). Any and all of these strategies can be used by you….if you’re willing to try.
– Get a better product. Dave had experienced his competitors’ products, and he knew he could build a better product. His better product was built by using better materials. What about your business?
Is your product or service built with better materials or ideas than your competitors?
If not, why?
If so, can your customers/clients tell the difference?
Dave knew his customers would be able to tell the difference, but first he had to get them to try his product.
– Get them to try it. Dave was so confident that his product was better, he was willing to publicly tell others his product was better than his competitors. “Calling out” a competitor is something very few are willing to do.
Are you so confident in your product or service that you are willing to publicly (in front of your competitor if necessary) tell others you’re better than your competition?
What can you do to get people to try or experience your product or service?
– Get them talking. Dave knew that getting people to try his product was only the beginning. If those people didn’t then tell others that his product was better, he would be doomed. He couldn’t afford to educate the entire country that his product was better; he had to rely on his customers to spread this message for him.
So Dave did something remarkable. He made his product look completely different from that of all his competitors. All his competitors’ products were round, so Dave made his product square. When people experienced his “better” product and its unusual shape, they told others about their experience.
Why? Not just because his product was better, but because it was better AND completely different.
Is your product or service so different from your competitors that people can’t help but tell others?
What can you do today to make your product or service more remarkable?
Who the heck is Dave?
Dave Thomas founded Wendy’s on November 15, 1969. Despite the fact that the cards were stacked against him, his Wendy’s initially grew faster than both McDonald’s and Burger King.
By their 10 year anniversary Wendy’s had over 1,700 stores.
Burger King had less than 275 stores by their 10 year anniversary.
McDonald’s had just over 500 stores by their 10 year anniversary.
No question about it, Dave made his hamburger patties with better ingredients. Also, Dave’s hamburger patties weren’t (and still aren’t) ever frozen, so they taste fresher. Dave was smart enough to know that a better product alone wasn’t enough; he had to do something else to get people to talk about his hamburgers. So he decided to use Square Patties.
I know what you’re thinking, “If Dave’s three strategies were so great, then why is McDonald’s the largest fast food chain in the world?” Great question! The answer is….
Wendy’s stopped following Dave’s three strategies. The company grew so rapidly (during one 21-month period they were opening 1.5 new restaurants per day) they lost their focus on these core strategies.
Too often, we do the exact same thing. As our business grows we start neglecting the small things that made us remarkable to begin with. We become too busy “putting out fires.” Not only that, but…..
Square Patties can only be remarkable for so long.
Once everyone has seen a Square Patty, they’re no longer remarkable. Wendy’s failed to continue to push the limits; they failed to release new remarkable products. They became just another fast food company.
If you’re thinking, “Okay, these ideas are great, but they can’t really work in my business,” or, “I don’t have time to implement these ideas in my business,” then I’m afraid you are losing ground to the “McDonald’s” of your industry.
I understand as much as anyone how difficult it can be to grow a business, much less try to be remarkable along the way, but you must find your Square Patty. The good news is that you don’t have to do it alone. There are a lot of people and programs that can help identify your Square Patty and take your business to the next level, but you have to be willing to take action and let them help.
What’s your Square Patty?
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