Brand Belief, Schizophrenia and a few thoughts…

Posted on September 25, 2006



It bothers me somewhat to talk about my culinary lunch escapades at Burger King on this blog. Theoretically, half the world could find out about it. It shouldn’t bother me really, I know, but it’s just that I’ve been trying eat healthily lately as I’m trying to help an 11 year old fiend of mine to get onto a healthy diet and on a regular exercise routine. Eating at BK isn’t exactly setting a good example.   

This little friend of mine is a great kid and the smartest and most inquisitive 11 year olds you’ll ever meet. But he is also heavily overweight, which is unfortunately having a negative influence on his ability to enjoy life, both physically and emotionally.  

This young friend of mine is not the kind of kid who simply can’t sit still, but has to run, jump, climb, skip and summersault continuously to stay sane. No. This guy can sit still, very still, for hours. When he gets hold of a book, it has him arrested.  

You could say that he lives in his head. And you could argue that he does so slightly to one side. In many respects, he treats his own body as a mode of transport for his head; a way of getting his head from one place to another. Anywhere where he can find a book and sit down to read it.  

So what I’ve created as a little side project for myself is simply trying to get him out of his own head a few times a week to use his body, move his body and burn some calories in the process.  

That’s the reason I’m reluctant to reveal my lunch habits. But now that I’ve gotten this schizophrenia issue off my chest, I‘ll come back to the starting point, brand belief. 

Great brands are built on strong beliefs that they stick firmly to. Gunniess, Nike and Ikea are all shining examples of this. So earlier today, before shoving down a Double Whopper Meal [without mayo and with a Diet Coke so that I could rationalize my lunch as a healthy choice] down my throat, I noticed something about my tray. HAVE IT YOUR WAY, it said. Gone were images of a gazillion versions of their various meals and information about promotions, competitions and lucky draws. Who pays attention to that crap anyway? 

HAVE IT YOUR WAY.“You have the right to have what you want, exactly when you want it. Because on the menu of life, you are “today’s Special”. And tomorrow’s. And the day after that. And…well, you get the drift. Yes, that’s right. We may be the king, but you my friend, are the almighty ruler.” 

Brand belief is a big word and frankly speaking, in Burger King’s case it may be more appropriate to talk about a campaign line until they can demonstrate their capacity to deliver on their promise. But I believe that “Have It Your Way” [now more so than it was first used] is an attempt to create a sustainable brand belief  that will affect the way they do business and serve slobs like me. Is this potentially the next case of true advertising-led brand rejuvenation?  I think it could be. “Have it your way” meets the need for control, freedom of choice and individual attention. And it is directly aimed at the brewing feeling of ‘entitlement’ we all harbour. People today (read: most people under 30) feel that they have the right to enjoy everything life has to offer, right here, right now in the exact way they want it.   

Expressing brand belief even at the point of sale, where the brand is ultimately experienced and consumed is worth a gold star. It kind of helps sum up the experience. It’ll be worth three gold stars when the menu, staff, restaurants and opening hours are all aligned with this belief.

Posted in: Planning-related