Beware The Small Blanket

“In Brazil, we say that ‘You need to be careful of the small blanket.’ When you are cold and you have a small blanket, you cover your head and your feet are cold, you cover your feet and your head is cold. This is pretty much how we play with our budget. Usually, the core declines faster than your new innovation will grow, and that can really hurt your business in the long run. In the small blanket case, make sure that your core is warm.” – FERNANDO MACHADO, CMO OF BURGER KING
What, exactly, is Fernando saying?
Let me ask you, what is your core product or offering? What is your bread and butter? What brings people in the door? Have you been doing it a while? Are you getting bored of it? Would you rather talk about something else? Do you assume your customer base is getting bored of it, like you? Would you rather talk about the new and exciting products you’re developing?
Mr. Machado had this to say.
“The more successful you are, the more you feel tempted to expand on the brand further and you may risk leaving your core exposed. You cannot be addicted to innovation.”
If you have a small marketing budget, you must carefully decide how to deploy it.
But you already knew that. So, why am I telling you this?
Because innovation is good, but you must not be addicted to innovation. And…to give you some perspective.
Burger King, who most of us would consider a major company, whose 2021 U.S. marketing budget was $225 million, carefully allocates their budget to keep their core offering, the Whopper, top of mind.
I don’t know your situation exactly, but I’m guessing $225MM is a tad more than your annual marketing spend. That being the case, I say this out of love.
You’re marketing budget is a small blanket.
You can’t cover everything at once.
So, what will you keep warm?
– Zac Smith, VC