|The Anomaly Of Fast Food
By: Kevin Weaver
One thing that makes any brand successful is the ability to deliver the same quality products in its stores that it portrays in its advertisements. What I mean is "what you see is what you get." If your products look and perform a certain way in the magical world of television, then they should in real life, too. Delivering a product that doesn't meet the standards specified in your ads is a waste of advertising dollars and a recipe for failure. So, it would make sense that businesses everywhere would abide by this way of thinking and enjoy its benefits.
This is not, however, the case for restaurants in the fast food industry. For years, fast food joints have been pushing out mediocre products that do not look as advertised. And yet we seem to be okay with this. Usually, as consumers, we demand perfection and don't tolerate anything less. If the vacuum, TV, or laptop you purchased didn't perform like the ads said it would, you get your money back or you replace that product with something else. But how many times have you taken your Big Mac back because it was flattened and your fries were soggy and wilted?
I understand that higher priced items like TVs and laptops are a cause for bigger concern as opposed to a meal that costs less than five dollars, but it's the principle of it all. We hold businesses accountable for their faulty products all of the time, so why do we treat brands like McDonald's and Burger King so differently? Perhaps the answer isn't necessarily in the food, but more in the way of what fast food provides for people. Going to McDonald's for lunch is a relatively fast, affordable, and convenient way to grab a bite to eat. Consumers place more value in the convenience than the quality. Brands like McDonald's, Wendy's, and Burger King understand this concept and can vouch for its effectiveness and profitability. No matter how much of a bad rap these brands get, people will continue to purchase their products.
The truth of the matter is that it's easy to pick on fast food chains. They get blamed for providing unhealthy eating options, adding to the obesity rate, and contributing to health problems such as heart disease or high blood pressure. But what's important to remember is that no one is forced to patronize these restaurants. These companies advertise and brand themselves so well that we don't even think twice about what we are purchasing and consuming. This is in no way a stand against fast food but more of an observation of the anomaly of the branding and consumer behavior associated with the industry. Who knows? Maybe the only thing you'll think of after reading this is what to do for lunch.
Kevin Weaver is a marketing professional in Wichita, KS with two years of experience. Past and present work includes email marketing compaigns, client e-store development, social media, and destination marketing.
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