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The Two for $20 Royal Rumble Part II – Branding

September 4, 2009

Good news everyone; the second part of the Royal Rumble is coming; right now.

The branding implications are very interesting when it comes to the 2 for $20 deals at the restaurants I talked about previously (Applebees, Chilis and BJ’s).

Applebees openly promotes their 2 for $20 deal so frequently both on TV and in the restaurants.  This is a good brand building practice for their company.  The promotion is helping keep their brand consistent and strong.

Applebee’s “Eatin Good in the Neighborhood” tagline expresses exactly what they want to be: our neighborhood dining destination.  They want to be family friendly, a relaxing experience and most importantly affordable.  The 2 for $20 aligns well with their branding (and I would guess their corporate goals) because the affordable promotion draws in the local patrons that they want to serve.

Chili’s doesn’t have the same “affordable” feel in their branding; they stress a little more on quality rather than price, but their use of their promotion also aligns fairly well with their branding.  They get to show off their food, and give people a break on the price.  Very simple and straight forward and yet aligns with their image.

BJ’s is a different story with these type of promotions because they aren’t directly competing with restaurants like Chili’s and Applebees.

BJ’s hasn’t done much marketing about their 2 for $20 deal; and that aligns perfectly with their branding.  BJ’s needs to be careful with how they advertise their promotion because they don’t want to damage their brand, and where restaurant goers place them in their hierarchy of restaurants.  BJ’s isn’t a direct competitor with Applebees or Chili’s and don’t want to be in the same consideration set as them.  They want to be in the same consideration set as Gordon Biersch, Rock Bottom or other local brewery restaurants.

If they over promoted their 2 for $20 deal they would lose some of their brand equity.   They would be presenting themselves in a restaurant category they do not compete in (with Applebees and Chilis).  The fact that BJ’s hasn’t been advertising their promotion much is a good thing for the long run.  I’m not sure how it is helping the bottom line now; but branding is an investment, and they are looking out for the well-being of the company in the future. Something that a lot of companies are not doing a very good job at in this tough economic time.

I really would like to hear some comments on the topic of the 2 for $20 deals.  They’re so prevalent in today’s tough economic times that I’m sure most of you out there have an opinion or two.

Now go out and have a great labor day, I’m going to be pool side Woo hoooo!

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