I love outliers, especially business and marketing outliers because they go for it. No matter how crazy the idea, they pick a lane, they commit, and then they do the hard work to prove their theory.
I often write about two industries, in particular, due to their competitive nature and outlier marketing creativity — food and alcohol…
In this day and age where everyone is scared of their own shadow, those that take a chance and own an idea will win. These outliers are the true innovators in this crazy disruptive world…even if the idea is…well…suspect.
And there’s a MAJOR food war occurring right now and it’s landed squarely on the backs of the fast-food industry.
Have you heard about it?
It’s between the plant-based food industry and the traditional meat companies. And the tide is rolling in favor of the plant-based food industry — actually, it’s a massive sea change.
The graph below is a list of the fast-food chains introducing plant-based foods into stores now or in the future…but pay very close attention to the last name on this list…because we are about to explore their outlier strategy.
Yup, Arby’s has publicly committed to forging a path in the outlier lane and in this billion-dollar war. That takes courage…but then again, all outliers have courage.
Not only has Arby’s shunned away from this wave of plant-based foods, but they have also shoved it back in the face of the vegetarian movement with their slogan, “WE GOT THE MEATS.”
And they even took it one step further…
The fast-food restaurant is doubling down on it with the creation of…a meat-based vegetable, or as they refer to it: “megetable” or “The Marrot.”
Yeah, you read that right…it’s a megetable made of turkey meat and colored using dried carrot juice…
Their logic behind the idea: “If they can make meat from veggies (and other stuff), we can make veggies from meat.”
(I’ll go ahead and guess that this isn’t a Dr. Steven Gundry approved “Plant-Paradox” meal for me to even try… BTW, keep scrolling for an update on my clinical trial, if you’ve been keeping up with it.)
Maybe to you (maybe to me, too), but there is a massive population that is sick of tired of the “nanny state” telling them what to do. They love meat and only one company is out there saying “We have your back (or meat).”
Even if this idea crashes and burns, Arby’s campaign for a meat-based vegetable has branded them as THE outlier in the fast-food wars. It’s created a swell of customer loyalty and it’s garnered them 8-figures in FREE advertising.
Arby’s wins either way.
So, kudos to Arby’s — and in particular, their chief marketing officer, Jim Taylor, who is simply giddy to stand-out — and hopefully above — everyone else in the fast-food industry.
Here’s what you can learn from this story:
- If you were to ask me the one — ONE — pet peeve I have with business owners these days? They are scared of their own marketing shadow. They are afraid to be outliers. They want to be an outlier, but they can’t go for it. They play it safe because they are paralyzed by fear. If you want to be #1 in your industry, you can’t win with a fearful play-it-safe marketing strategy.
- My advice? Don’t spend your marketing dollars to be like everyone else. Find a unique lane, take a chance, and commit to the strategy — and a large creative budget. Finally, execute it! It doesn’t work any other way.
P.S. — I recently was introduced to the great Douglas Burdett— a former artillery officer, Madison Avenue ad man, and even a stand-up comedian. He also has one of the most listened to marketing podcasts in the world. If you haven’t checked out his Marketing Book Podcast yet, head there now and check out our interview: https://bit.ly/2XyBtDV
P.P.S — A little news on my clinical trial — (for new subscribers, you can read about my recent post HERE) I was informed by my doctors at Johns Hopkins that my stem cell specimen was contaminated and thus, this attempt at curing my disease (Achalasia) is over. Our hope is to restart a new trial by the end of this year. Fingers crossed!
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