We’re all well-acquainted with the advantages of being the market leader in a category: You’re top-of-mind. You’re preferred by a wide margin over your closest competitor. Your marketing dollars go further. You become the benchmark.

It’s this last area that’s yielded a recent surprise. An article in Advertising Age (7/26/04) indicated that the fact that McDonald’s is doing so well is “skewing the performance curve of its restaurant peers.” According to the article, McDonald’s posted its fourth consecutive quarter of double digit profits and in doing so, redefined analysts perceptions of what solid performance means for the category. The end result: Even when other QSRs have had positive sales, their performance was perceived as negative simply because their numbers where nowhere near what McDonald’s posted.

Think of how effective your marketing has to be if you’re able to create the perception that no matter how good your competitors are doing, they’re all walking around with a capital “L” (for loser!) on their foreheads.

Posted by Rob Fields