Good Brand, Bad Value = Out of Business

Campfire VittlesI went to an interesting new little place for lunch called, Campfire Vittles. The place at lunch time had three people in it. As branding consultant for many different types of companies, here’s my quick take on how they might be more successful –

The good: Campfire Vittles has a great idea, logo and a unique campsite mural and chuck wagon atmosphere. The hot dog was very good, with lots of topping choices — it was a meal in itself.

Areas for improvement: If they specialize in just hamburgers and hotdogs, then the hamburger needs to be like you might get at Applebee’s (thick and juicy). My hamburger was just ok, about like I might get at Burger King. To set themselves apart from being a fast food place with very limited choices — they need to be the gourmet of hamburgers and not a small step above a fast food place with a limited menu. People will come back for food that is a good value. As cool as the outdoor mural of a campsite atmosphere is, people won’t come back unless the food brings them back.

Another improvement: Instead of serving the lunch in a brown paper bag which looks like a take-out bag — they should serve it in a pie tin like they did out on the trail from a chuck wagon, that would be a much better way to present the food. Branding is about communicating value. If food is presented in a paper bag it doesn’t have the same level of perceived value of something served on a plate.

Those are just a few thoughts on how to improve their customer’s experience.

Here’s a follow up three months later: They closed and are out of business. FYI – 85% of all new restaurants fail in the first three years. This one was just one of thousands …

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