Kudos To The King For A Successful Product Launch

I have always enjoyed BBQ but since moving to Texas, I have started to appreciate the almost religious dedication that goes into making exceptional BBQ.  So, when I heard that Burger King was going to start offering BBQ ribs my first thought was that this going to be another McPizza.  Why would anyone want to buy ribs from a burger joint?

This must have been a bad brainstorm idea that somehow escaped the lab, right?  Tom Fishburne’s  latest cartoon adds great color commentary on the  brainstorming process:

10 million ribs later, the King seems to be onto something.  From the WSJ article this week,

Amid brisk demand, some Burger King outlets have already exhausted their supply of the relatively pricey new pork ribs, and the company expects to use up its entire rib order in the next week or so, said John Schaufelberger, Burger King’s senior vice president of global product marketing and innovation…..The company based its rib allotment on results from test markets of Indianapolis, Las Vegas, Greensboro, N.C., and Orlando that showed customers favoring the three-piece order, which sells at a suggested price of $2.99 on its own or $1.99 as a combination meal add-on.

Taking an idea from a brainstorming session and productising it is tough.  Even tougher, doing it inside a complex, risk adverse franchise environment.  I am willing to bet there was more than a couple internal hurdles that had to be overcome to connivence management that this product had merit.

Kudos to the King for not shredding this idea before getting it in the hands of customers and hearing what they have to say.  As an additional bonus, they have inserted a new slot into the menu that is a premium offering during a time that most of the industry seems focused on discounting and the dollar menu.

Now that being said, you will still find me at Rudy’s Country Store and BBQ when I need a quick order of ribs or brisket.  Once you fall in love with Texas BBQ, there is no turning back.

Resources:

  1. The McPizza
  2. WSJ – After 10 Million Ribs, Burger King Begins to Run Out
  3. Brand Camp – Law of the Brainstorm
  4. Rudy’s Country Story and BBQ

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