Is Quizno’s Missing an Opportunity?
A colleague and I recently found ourselves desperate for a quick, late lunch. We stumbled upon a Quizno’s in the middle of nowhere, and after $20 for two sandwiches, two drinks, two bags of chips, and two cookies, I thought to myself, “This seems cheap. I’m either getting exactly what I paid for, or this is a really good bargain.” My stomach and I hoped for the latter.
We got into my car with our order, drove off, and began to eat. It was delicious. My expectations from what I’ve seen of Quizno’s lately were confusing me: a fresh bankruptcy, lots of store closings, and much ado about a cheap lobster sandwich (cheap and lobster shouldn’t go together, right?). Lingering images of their advertising campaigns still make me want to shiver, especially from a brand that is trying to serve me lunch. For sure, the Quizno’s vibe has been a quirky one, as if their primary target is irreverent millenials who only respond to advertising with shock value.
The comeback challenge for Quizno’s is how to compete against low-end alternatives like Subway who have a big budget, lower price points, and tons of locations on their side. Our Premium Brand Index indicates that there is plenty of capacity on the premium end of the spectrum to steal share from brands like Panera and Jimmy John’s. The Quizno’s sandwich is much tastier and interesting than the expectations set by their advertising, and ads like the one here, while catchy and rhythmic, set me up to expect something cheap rather than something delicious. With the challenges Quizno’s faces, I’d rather differentiate with uniqueness and fewer locations, attracting customers who are more discriminating, more loyal, and willing to pay for it. Quizno’s may be missing a huge opportunity to become a more premium brand rather than trying to be another Subway, who succeeds with thinner margins because of volume and convenience.
In the meantime, I have to wait till I’m in the middle of nowhere again to enjoy my next Quizno’s sandwich, since the nearest one to me is 30 miles away. Good luck, Quizno’s. You’re better than you think you are.
*Photo: Photos from quiznos.com