Four years after acquiring the business, 3G Capital had managed to put Burger King back in growth mode. However, the Burger King brand itself was still lacking momentum and it was unclear if its celebrity-heavy ad campaign would work. Could Daniel Schwartz, Burger King’s young CEO and his team make the brand cool again, on a tight budget? Drawing on data from a brand audit, your first task is to define the brand’s identity and choose among five positioning ideas. After deciding how to allocate expenses between television, digital and PR, and brand and restaurant redesign, the case takes a deep dive into each component. For the digital and PR components, for example, you have to evaluate eight mock- ups created by DAVID, the agency, and then come up with your own idea, which Burger King will evaluate.
CEO Daniel Schwartz
This case reunites us with Fernando Machado, one of the protagonists of INSEAD’s Unilever in Brazil case (the CaseCentre’s 8th best-selling case of the past 40 years). After heading the Dove brand famous for its “Campaign for Real Beauty”, Fernando joined Burger King as the Head of Brand Marketing and is now its Global Chief Marketing Officer.
CMO Fernando Machado
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.
- social media
- public relations
- private equity
- zero-based budgeting