A $243 sandwich: the positioning power of ultra premium product

Branding melbourne

Don Wagyu leverages premium positioning to stand-out in a crowded food market.

I recently read about a new fast casual Japanese Sandwich concept from New York called Don Wagyu. The article I read spoke about their hero product, The Ozaki, a wagyu beef sandwich that sells for US$180 (AU$243).

It turns-out that all wagyu is not born the same. The Ozaki is a particularly fine wagyu raised on a single farm in Miyazaki Prefecture, owned by Mr. Muneharu Ozaki. Only 5 cattle are shipped to the US each month and are exclusive to Don Wagyu. It sounds like a pretty special kind of beef to eat in your Japanese sando.

Even allowing for differences in markets between here and New York, the Don Wagyu web site presents an unusual menu of just three Japanese Sandwiches – all wagyu beef and with prices ranging from US$28 to US$180.

Frankly I’m surprised a food business can survive with a menu of three sandwiches starting at more than AU$35, let alone selling a hero $243 sandwich. Whilst this may be an extreme example, it none-the-less illustrates an approach to differentiation through creating an ultra-premium offer that captures attention, creates buzz and underscores the brand’s value proposition.

A new entrant into the ultra competitive burger market might consider launching with a $100 hero burger on their menu featuring a similarly credentialed, hand minced wagyu beef patty, a top shelf imported English cheddar, organic pickles from a local artisan producer and a signature sauce containing imported black truffles and Persian saffron. They may sell precious few of these products, but the column centimeters of coverage in the on and offline media may be the difference between success and failure.

Dave Ansett
David is the founder of Truly Deeply, a brand agency with 25 years experience working with brands to position them for growth. His deep expertise is in the creation of high engagement brands that attract the attention of their audience and stand out from their competitors. David has extensive experience working with corporate, retail, food & beverage and entrepreneurial clients. Find out more here
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