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Remembering McDonald's Pizza

Who remembers McDonald’s Pizza? Not many.

In the mid 90’s, McDonald’s recognized the population was aging, and decided to attract more adults by introducing pizza on their menu.

The company and its franchisees spent a fortune on the new custom McDonald’s Pizza ovens, wider take out windows, training to prepare pizzas, and of course advertising.

McDonald’s Pizza failed, in part, because their brand was all about kids, not adults. They had the Ronald McDonald clown, they installed Ronald McDonald Play-Place in many stores, and promoted Ronald McDonald House in proximity to children’s hospitals.
Adults who purposely avoided the noise, hustle and bustle of kids playing and shouting, did not want to engage the ankle-biters when ordering a pizza.

To further complicate the marketing challenge, most adults already had a favorite pizza brand or restaurant and saw no reason to change.

Seldom is the category you own in the minds of your customers really about the product you sell. It’s more often about the experience you deliver, or the demographics you cater to.

In their ground-breaking book, The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing, Al Reis and Jack Trout state law #2 as; “If you can’t be first in a category, create a category you can be first in.”

In marketing, there is always an experiential or demographic category you can create, claim, and own.

When BMW decided to capture the North American market, all of the automotive categories were owned by someone….Cadillac owned luxury, Volvo owned safety, and Corvette owned performance and so on. What did BMW do?

They created their own category, proclaiming to be in the ‘luxury-performance’ category. In subsequent auto industry surveys, it was announced that BMW was, in fact, number one in the luxury-performance category, in part because no one else was staking a claim there.

If you are looking to create a category you can own click here. I’ll be happy to deliver The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing to you, and to discuss capturing your category leadership.