It seemed like some kind of social media hoax or joke. So I linked to the AdWeek article and learned that Burger King is pretending to change their name to Fries King.
So not really.
April Fools? King For a Day?
If you went to Burger King’s website on the day of the announcement you could see they did a really good job of pretending. If nothing else, the Burger King people ( or Fries King people) are giving us an interesting PR / Social Media case study. And they are flooding their web properties with traffic. They’re now back to being Burger King.
I believe that The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing is one of the most valuable marketing books out there. I’ve had significant success by applying one particular law:
If you can’t be first in your category, create a category that you CAN be first in.
Burger King will never surpass McDonald’s in the Burger Category. The Fries Category is wide open. And whether they are pretending or not, they have planted their flag in the minds of french fry consumers as the new King of Fries, as Ries & Trout suggest. Better that than Lord of the Fries. (sorry!)
Should they stop pretending and make the change permanent?
That depends. Is the #1 position in the Fries Category more valuable than the #2 position in the Burger Category? Likely not. But for all of us, it is a strategy idea worth exploring. In what category do your prospective customers place you? Are you #1 or are you an also ran?