Burger King is priming itself for the next century with a sweeping image overhaul, including store design, operations, logo--and eventually advertising--in a system-wide initiative to continue strengthening its core differentiation: flame broiling.
Completely new advertising is likely to come via lead agency Ammirati Puris Lintas in New York, but concepts are still not firm.
"If and when they give the green light, advertising will be a part of it," said a source. "But we're not there yet."
The program, to be unveiled at a franchisees' meeting in Reno, Nev., the week of April 11, calls for a logo change that drops the brand's staid 1970s look for a bolder, Superman-inspired typeface and eliminates the familiar buns-squeezing-the-brand-name motif.
Loud, clashing color schemes would be replaced by more contemporary yellow, grey and blue hues and upscale seating, sources said. If franchisees buy in, the pricey revamp would set Burger King apart from competitors married to Playskool-like plastic decor packages that do little to keep customers in the store, purchasing more products.
"They're not resting on the success they've had," said a source close to the company, noting the revamping effort would strive to keep the Miami-based client's taste credentials on top and strengthen the brand's "emotional" link with consumers.
Dubbed "Burger King of the 21st Century," the concept will be visible in a Reno unit that has been razed and rebuilt in time for the meeting. Fitch in Columbus, Ohio, handled design; Alcone Marketing of Irvine, Calif., point-of-purchase displays as well as menu board layout and Sterling Group in New York, the logo.
Although the Miami-based client had no comment, sources said new equipment running $25-30,000 per unit would scrap an assembly-line approach for workstations enabling efficient cooking of bigger, more complex products and help Burger King expand its flame-broiled offerings. A kid-friendly service area may leverage the Kids' Club program, sources said.