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Case Studies by Fernando Machado

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published: 25 Jun 2018

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When 3G Capital bought Burger King from TPG, Bain Capital and Goldman in 2010, the fastfood chain was losing momentum. By 2014, the business was back in growth mode but the Burger King brand was still lacking lustre and it was unclear if the celebrity-heavy ad campaign would work. Could new CEO Daniel Schwartz and his team make the brand cool again - on the cheap? Drawing on data from a brand audit, the challenge is to (i) define the brand’s identity and choose among five positioning ideas; (ii) allocate expenses between television, digital and PR, and brand and restaurant redesign. For the digital and PR components, for example, students have to evaluate eight mock-ups created by Burger King’s agency, and come up with their own ideas for Burger King to evaluate.
Please visit the dedicated case website to access supplementary material.

Pedagogical Objectives:
This decision-oriented case touches on key aspects of brand marketing for quick-service restaurants, a category at the intersection of consumer goods and retailing. Instructors have access to uniquely detailed information about process, actions and outcomes in a 29-page teaching note, 20 exclusive video interviews with the management team, a comprehensive slide deck, as well as high-resolution ads and video footage explaining the success of Burger King’s award-winning campaigns (“Whopper Freakout”, “Proud Whopper”, “The McWhopper Proposal”, and “Google Home of the Whopper”), which won it “Creative Marketer of 2017” , multiplied the value of the brand by 3.7 since its acquisition, and accelerated the company’s growth. Suitable for undergraduates, graduates, and seasoned executives, the case will fit into an introductory course in marketing management as well as specialized courses in marketing strategy, brand management, consumer behavior, digital marketing, or retailing. It can also be taught in a business strategy course on the impact of private equity ownership, or a finance/accounting course on the implementation of zero-based budgeting. For a single session, we suggest instructors make brand positioning an additional pre-discussion reading and focus class discussion on TV advertising, social media, and PR. For a double session, add the brand identity decoding and the positioning decision. With more sessions, the instructor can address design and restaurant image, or dive deeper into each aspect covered.

Marketing, Food, Advertising, Branding, Digital, Design, Packaging, Social Media, Public Relations, Health, Private Equity, Zero-Based Budgeting

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