Does a BOGO Build a Brand?
This week’s ADWEEK (8/17/2015) had a piece on how Jack in the Box was working with Guinness (the World Records people, not the beer) to help grab headlines, create viral content and generate brand awareness. Jack in the Box launched its Buttery Jack Burger with the world’s largest coupon – the largest “Buy One Get One free” coupon ever. Jack in The Box generated millions of media impressions (including the ones from this blog) and I’m sure made more than a few sales from money conscious consumers. These are all worthy goals but what happened to brand equity?
The enormous coupon is clever, catchy, fun… a smart tactic to get people to look. We’ve all done events and promos to make sales and meet KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) but here is the big question, now that Jack has the largest coupon, what’s next?
The problem with something like this, as fun and clever as it was, is that it works to build a commodity mind set as it reinforces price and the offer. The event wasn’t anchored by a reason to buy sans coupon and raises the question of what such an intense price oriented promotion might do to the perceived quality and integrity of the brand. No one told me how good the burger was or why I should come back and be a loyal “Jack” customer. Not one meaningful point of differentiation. Short term “Jack” made some sales. Long term I doubt that few of the new customers walked away with any understanding of the brand. The chance to create a message of quality, emotional appeal and great taste was undercut by the fact that the second one was free. The real risk is that it could also encourage the perception that the brand is a cheap product, with questionable quality, that depends on low prices for its’ sales. This is certainly not the best approach for building a loyal following or establishing profitable differentiation.
A Guinness World Record is quite an achievement and one their franchise community will enjoy. Building store traffic – “putting asses in seats” is not to be minimized. But I do believe “Jack’s” could have included one differentiating reason to try the burger beyond saving a few bucks. They could have added a little something to Jack in the Box’s bank of brand equity. This was a lost opportunity and yet another example of how marketers have forgotten the very basics of Brand Building. So does a BOGO Build a Brand – I think not.