Wendys is one of the best-known hamburger franchises in the United States. Being the third-largest franchise in the country and with a presence in 4 of the 5 continents, clearly, the success of the brand is impossible to deny. Have you ever wondered what are the keys to that success? Do you want to replicate that success in your own restaurant/brand/ company? The secret of the success of the local is in something quite simple to the naked eye, but in reality it is difficult to do since it not only requires you to take into account your own marketing strategy but also you have to consider your rivals and your customers within it. Keep reading and you will learn how to apply franchise treatment in your business.
Wendys is an international restaurant chain owned by The Wendy’s Company. The chain owns 6634 restaurants. Wendy’s is managed mainly by franchisees. 97% of its restaurants are run mainly by franchisees. Only 337 of all the restaurants are owned by the company. The first Wendy’s restaurant company opened at Columbus, Ohio in 1969. In spite of its humble beginnings, today it is one of the most representative restaurants of the North American culture. However, its history is quite turbulent. On many occasions, they were on the point of closing due to bad administration and bad publicity. However, something that has characterized the company on multiple occasions is its tendency to roast competition. Yes, you just read well. Wendys’ preferred marketing strategy is to mock its competition.
Since its inception, the company has had some very aggressive marketing campaigns, this is quite understandable if we consider the fact that the company was founded long after McDonald’s and Burger King were established as big burger companies. So in fear of becoming outdated and going bust, I take advantage of its status as the smallest of the three companies to establish its dominance.
One of the first examples of such aggressive marketing strategies by Wendys was the popular “Where is the beef?” campaign carried out in the 1980s, which mocked the lack of meat in the hamburgers of its competitors and became so popular that today it is still within the vocabulary of most Americans, being a fairly common slang in youth and adults. However that did not stay only in the past, with the new facilities offered by social networks like twitter, the company discovered a gold mine for roast its competition.
Toxicity in twitter times.
Twitter has rather peculiar fame among its users. Although they enjoy being on the web, they consider it quite toxic. Toxic in the sense that practically all users of the site fight with each other, most of the time for extremely silly or meaningless reasons. And in such a toxic environment, Wendy’s franchise, which was already characterized by roasting its rivals with advertising campaigns, found the perfect place to stand out. For the first time, it was pretty trivial, but after a time it becomes more obvious.
Known for her highly sarcastic manner of acting, her harsh comments when someone says bad things about her food and her endless mocking of other fast-food chains, Wendy’s personality on Twitter has already been causing a stir. Unlike the rest of the companies that prefer to use a rather benevolent attitude in their social networks, her direct and brazen attitude is not only shocking but for many, it has been an entertaining campaign to see her being very unconventional. This sarcasm and a new vision of marketing are attracting attention for good, as many people have gained interest in the fast-food chain thanks to their attitude.
This sarcastic attitude within social media may not be an approach that many companies imitate because of the risk involved, but we might consider it an online personality lesson. The way a message is conveyed can leave a lasting mark on your business reputation and the way people look at your brand. Personality businesses are crucial to connecting with customers through social media, no matter how you choose to do it and that is something that you should learn from Wendys.
Another good thing that the company has applied is to hear the voice of its fans within the social networks. A recent example of this was the announcement of the return of their seasoned chicken nuggets after the company launched a challenge on Twitter where it conditioned its reincorporation to the menu, in exchange for achieving that publication to reach more than two million likes.
THIS IS NOT A DRILL!
Spicy Chicken Nuggets are coming back! Y’all are crazy!
That took like a day and a half! WHAT?!
We don’t know when yet, gotta figure it out, but soon, and ok, LOSING IT RIGHT NOW THIS IS AMAZING!!
— Wendy's (@Wendys) May 6, 2019
This is the second time that a simple tweet becomes Wendy’s best commercial strategy when in 2017 a young man asked the brand’s community manager how many retweets he needed to get a free year of chicken nuggets. The brand replied that 18 million on that occasion, unleashing an entire media phenomenon, which became the most effective free advertising the brand has ever had.
HELP ME PLEASE. A MAN NEEDS HIS NUGGS pic.twitter.com/4SrfHmEMo3
— Carter Wilkerson (@carterjwm) April 6, 2017
Social networks are important areas of communication and implementing a good social media marketing strategy requires context, creativity, and clarity.
When these elements are perfectly mixed, an effective strategy is achieved because it communicates with certainty the objective of the brand, be it promotional or sales.