I can’t speak from experience, but from what I’ve heard, one bite of an In-N-Out burger will change your life forever. The relatively small California chain holds a lofty spot in American lore as the preeminent dispensary of ground beef greatness, and every In-N-Out fan I’ve ever met has adamantly sang their praises, often speaking of the burgers as one would a powerful intoxicant or even a deity.
Still, I was taken aback when I saw this video last week of the opening-day drive-thru line at In-N-Out’s first-ever Texas location:
The line, which is nearly 100 cars long, made me think about how a powerful brand can trump one’s logic or rationale. We see it all the time whenever Apple or (insert electronics company here) releases their latest gadget. People line up for hours (sometimes days) on end. I didn’t, however, expect to see it (to such an extent) with a burger joint.
Sure, the line won’t always be so long; opening-day curiosity always bolsters the public’s interest. But as I look at the line (extending all of 2 miles), I get the feeling that these folks, even if they’ve yet to try their first In-N-Out burger, have already decided that it’s worth the wait.
This is the power of a strong brand.
They’re in line for more than just a taste of burger bliss. They’re there to witness and take part in a monumental moment in hamburger history. They’re there to join the ranks of burger-philes across the nation who hold true and espouse the virtues of In-N-Out. They’re there to experience In-N-Out.
Perhaps nothing better illustrates the potency of the brand like this lady’s reaction. A California native who grew up enjoying the burgers, she was so overcome by emotion at the Texas store’s opening, she literally wept with joy as she ate her Double-Double®.
Can you imagine? A hamburger that brings people to tears?
Now that’s a tasty burger.
Like much of the rest of the world, the Covid-19 pandemic has upended our industry, creating new opportunities and making what was once routine an