Thursday, September 23, 2010

Subway Breakfast: Just Not Distinctive Enough

Subway breakfast is going to fail. No, I have not had breakfast there yet, but the not-so-glowing reviews I've seen so far (pre-made egg disks?) lead me to believe they are not trying THAT hard.

There was a time when Subway was THE the sandwich shop chain: the first in my neck of the woods, anyway. It was quite the anomaly of fast food: your sandwich was made fresh, right in front of you, could have it any way you wanted (except hot), and, was pretty darn good. Not as good as the Mom & Pop's, but for the price, not bad.

Then, like so many good businesses, they felt the need to expand, to compete. The mad kind of copybranding that makes Wal-Mart start selling groceries. "hey, all of the other fast-food chains are selling breakfast! Can we do that?" well, of course you can, but can you do it well? More importantly, Can you do it better?

The thing is, maybe they are doing it better. What's interesting is that since the announcement in March, all Subway seems to be able to say, is that they serve breakfast, but they don't say much about why I should eat it. Are they just another breakfast sandwich? What's so special about it? Is there some reason I should eat at Subway rather than the place I go to now?

It's been kind of quiet after the debut. Maybe they don't tout it much because the reviews have not been all that hot. Of course, that hasn't prevented Quizno's from getting into the act, albeit only in their convenience store locations.

All in all, Subway breakfast is going to fail. They just aren't distinct enough. And that's what it takes to succeed, surrounded by competition.Agree? Disagree? Please comment!

Rob Wallis is The Marketing Outsider, a speaker, author, and consultant who helps business owners increase their profitability by improving their visibility and helping them stand out in the marketplace. Contact him at The Wallis Group

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