Our new French restaurant client has given us one of our biggest destination branding challenges yet.
TINA: Not only are they just 4 months young in a recessionary market, but their primary competitor is formidable - boasting a Michelin star rating and over 12 years experience in the marketplace.
DES: It's time for a bit of marketecture - re-designing the structure of the marketplace's positive perception of the Michelin star rating.
TINA: Somehow, we've got to find the weakness in the strength of the Michelin rating system.
DES: A little bit of research has uncovered a distinct possibility.
TINA: Yes, back in 2004, a whistleblower from within the Michelin organisation, Pascal Rémy, a Michelin inspector wrote a tell-all book in 2004, claiming that Michelin had become extremely lax in its standards. He gave evidence that, though the guide claims to visit all reviewed restaurants every 18 months in order to keep the guide up to standards, they are actually visited about every 3.5 years, unless a specific complaint had been made.
Throwing some doubt on the gold standard for quality restaurants is a
game we've got to start playing if our client is to make serious
inroads in its marketplace.
TINA: It's now a question of prospects preferring either frequent, consistent, good standards or infrequent, inconsistent, great standards.
DES: Chances are the
'high-end' segment would continue to frequent the Michelin-rated
competitor, while the 'aspirational' segment now has a serious alternative in
the form of our client.
TINA: What's more, it's those very same aspiring customers that we would call upon to do the mystery testing - not just once every year or two - but every time they frequent our client's restaurant.
DES: A year is a long time in the restaurant industry - 3.5 years is even longer - chefs and kitchen staff change, suppliers and their supplies change, even ownership could change.
TINA: It's going to be a tough 'David' vs 'Goliath' bun fight this summer.
'Brand' the Marketect says:
"Often times, simply focusing on a destination's brand strategies isn't good enough. You've got to throw doubt on the market's measurement of performance standards."
Notes: For more powerful marketecture strategies, please read 'The Impossible Advantage' by Bucholz, Wordemann & Wiley
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