The 'Middle of the Road' consumer strategy

The 'middle of the road' strategic pursuit has conventionally found no takers. The 'neither-nor' position is something most strategists frown upon, as it results in a fluid identity with a strong possibility that the consumer ends up not getting who you are as a business concern. The 'positioning' goes horribly wrong.

While at Delhi, Sonali suggested 'The Big Chill' at East of Kailash for dinner. I was pleasantly surprised at the 'quaint' (read Hollywood movie theme) ambiance and even more surprised at the quality of food, especially the main courses. My grilled chicken with peri peri sauce turned out to be pretty good. And I know this taste well, 'cause years ago, I travelled to Jo'burgh to negotiate a deal to buy the franchisee rights of 'Nandos chicken' for the Middle East. I then had my first experience of Nandos' Flame grilled chicken with Peri Peri sauce. The Big Chill grilled chicken came quite close.

Anyway my account is about how the Big Chill has ended up creating a restaurant that's 'middle of road' and by all accounts pretty successful. That is, the ambiance & food are definitely upmarket but not premium. And by the looks of it, they haven't had too much of an investment in doing up the ambiance they have created. The Big Chill 'middle of the road' approach (read upmarket ambiance, good food at semi-premium prices) works for the 'middle of roaders' who I am a part of. We can't afford premium, but don't want the budget restaurant nightmares (read terrible ambiance and hygiene). We don't necessarily want gourmet, but would appreciate good food that's at least garnished well. We don't seek the opulence of an 'Orient Express' but would definitely appreciate quaint themes that are easy on the eye.

Something tells me the 'middle of the road' is where the money in India is. The consumer numbers are pretty impressive and their propensity to spend, albeit just that bit carefully, can result in, again, impressive 'average spends'.

'Middle of the Road', anyone?


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