Thursday, November 11, 2010

Death by hamburger

How does one burger stand in Arizona gain national attention and drive sales through the roof in the face of competition that includes multi-million dollar marketers like McDonald's, Burger King, Wendy's and others?

By embracing a truth in the category that no one else is willing to cop to.

The Heart Attack Grill in Chandler Arizona has been featured on the Today Show and in newspapers across America and as far away as India because of its complete dedication to its positioning and excellence in the execution.

While every other restaurant in the country is racing to embrace healthier options in an attempt to slow the expansion of America's waistlines, the Heart Attack Grill proudly serves up "A taste worth dying for."

It starts with the menu: Single, Double, Triple and Quadruple Bypass Burgers, Flatliner Fries, Jolt Cola and Lucky Strike unfiltered Cigarettes. Nothing healthy here.

The Waitresses don porn star nurse outfits. The grill chef wears a physician's coat with a stethoscope around his neck while he flips burgers with a coffin nail dangling from his lip. They don't take orders, rather serve up "prescriptions." Their spokesperson is a 600 pound former football player. The disclaimer on their web video spoofs all those ridiculously long warnings in drug and diet ads with phrases like, "In some cases, mild death may occur." And when you're done with your meal, they roll you to the door in a wheelchair.

Of course, the marketing would ultimately fail if the product was no good, but according to reviews on their Facebook page people love it.

Will Heart Attack Grill ever supplant the national chains in sales? No. But it will provide the owner with a great income because it appeals to a smaller but passionate segment of the market.

This is a classic example of a challenger brand and a great lesson for marketers everywhere.

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