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QSR Interview | By Blair Chancey

King, Meet the World

Is there any market where you wouldn’t launch the BK Joe line?

We will, of course, leave that decision up to what the local consumers need and want and make the call almost on a region-by-region basis. So, that would not be one of the programs that we would say is just a blanket, across the globe decision.

How do you make those types of decisions?

The Internet is a key part of our media mix, our promotional mix, and our ability to launch a product effectively.”

I’ll start with some of our most important advocates and advisers—our franchisee community. We have many different committees and ways to solicit feedback from our franchisees, both domestically as well as around the globe. We also have quite a few local employees, local resources who grew up in those markets that help guide and shape what trends are going on there1. And then the most important person who votes on a decision like that is the consumer. We have a vibrant testing process from concept, to taste test, to in-restaurant testing that will help us validate that idea at every step of the way. That’s set up, again, both domestically and throughout the globe.

Does BK have any international events that it’s aligned with?

A lot of our programs are specifically geared towards what that Super Fan is looking for. And a lot of ours are either entertainer-driven, or Xbox-driven. We don’t like to just follow the typical, traditional fast-food route on that and just say we’re going to slap our logo on a sporting event. We want to understand what’s important and relevant to our consumers and true to our brand.

A great example is our recent Simpson’s program, which was a global, worldwide movie premier. Burger King added so much extra to it with the SimpsonizeMe.com Web site, the entire globe participated in that. … We take properties or programs that are really relevant to our Super Fans, and truly represent what our brand stands for.

What role does the Internet play in a creating a recognizable global Burger King brand?

The Internet is a key part of our media mix, our promotional mix, and our ability to launch a product effectively. Our customers are very Web savvy and very technologically savvy. We’ll look through different channels to get the word out. This is a little bit of an example that’s a bit dated, but we’re so very proud of it, and that was Subservient Chicken.

We used the Internet to launch one of the most successful new products we’ve launched here in the last three years, the TenderCrisp Chicken. We’re very proud of using the Internet to our advantage on that, getting word out to the Super Fans in their way.

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Blair Chancey is QSR’s associate editor.
*The BK Joe line has launched in the U.K., Ireland, and Germany