Company Case 6 – Darden Restaurants: Balancing Standardization and Differentiation

In: Business and Management

Submitted By AllenM
Words 680
Pages 3
Allen McKinney
MKT 101
02/28/13
Company Case 6 – Darden Restaurants: Balancing Standardization and Differentiation 1. Use the full spectrum of segmentation variables, describe how Darden segments and target the sit-down dining market?
Psychographic Segmentation is represented by Olive Garden’s plan to build a dining experience around the concept of a fabled Italian family. Olive Garden’s marketing team learned that a primary customer insight shows that customers are as interested in emotional nourishment as they are in physical nourishment. Styling the restaurant as an Italian farmhouse, commercials that invite you to be “part of the family”, and training at their Culinary Institute in Tuscany has shaped a genuine Italian menu. Geographic Segmentation is something that Darden exhibits in the Longhorn chain. Longhorn Restaurants are currently only found in the eastern half of the US. This offers an opportunity for extensive expansion going forward. Demographic Segmentation is exemplified by Red Lobster’s efforts to fill the gap between fast-food seafood and upscale white-tablecloth restaurants.
Behavioral Segmentation is realized in usage rates. Darden, along with all other sit-down restaurants, are seeing a decline in the frequency that diners are eating out at sit-down meals. This is a result of economic decline and consumers becoming more particular with how they chose to use their limited finance resources.

2. Has Darden differentiated and positioned its brands effectively?
I believe that Darden has done a good job of this. Darden’s brands are so well differentiated and positioned and the corporate name is kept so low-profile that most customers don’t realize they share a common ownership. They have different niche-type markets meaning they have Italian market through Olive Garden, Seafood through Red Lobster, and Steakhouse market through…...

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