Subway’s new breakfast campaign is what originally sparked my interest. Depending on the options (given its made-to-order business model) Subway could do great things with a breakfast menu, but I don’t see them happening just yet. So I was thinking that the major burger chains have some sort of breakfast option and they compete with Dunkin Donuts, Wawa, and 7-Eleven.

So I thought who is Subway trying to steal market share from? Its direct competition is Quizno’s, Saladworks, Cosi (the breakfast exception), and Jimmy John’s. So then I came to the conclusion that Subway is trying to separate itself from the pack by modeling brands in a different category. The fast food burger category is the “granddaddy of them all.” In this category, playing musical chairs is the standard. No brand wants to be caught without a certain line extension if it’s being offered by a competitor– even if it’s just for a limited time.

Burger King is stealing McDonald’s sandwich (even though everyone else has it too… “it’s not that original but it’s super affordable.”), but this certainly isn’t the first time; this might be the first time its blatantly admitted. A line has to be drawn somewhere before a brand starts losing its identity. It’s easy to overstep that boundary when constantly tweaking lines here and there. Playing musical chairs is good in moderation! One of the great benefits of being an industry leader is setting the example and shaming everyone else into following– whether they’re ready to or not.

Here’s a list of “the music chairs” I’ve noticed in fast food: dollar menu, salad, fruit, iced/coffee, mozzarella sticks, cinnamon sticks, cookies, pies, bottled water, chicken strips, sausage biscuit, sausage muffin, wraps, flat breads, paninis, and cheesesteaks