Why you need to care about the decline of the Chicken Parmigiana!

Last century, Video killed the Radio Star. This century, Instagram killed the Chicken Parmigiana. And it has ramifications for the entertainment world.

Instagramming Food

All good products and services in any industry must satisfy consumers’ needs. It is this need satisfaction which keeps them relevant, useful and (if they do it well) invaluable to the market. But as pubs across Australia are currently learning, different consumers can find satisfaction for different needs in the same products. A distinction which is crucial to maintaining the relevance of your product as society progresses. Let me illustrate this point.

The quality of a pub used to be determined by their Chicken Parmigiana. It was the yardstick against which all pubs were measured. But no longer. News reports came out over the weekend decreeing the end of the Parmigiana reign as the most popular pub food. Why? Instagram. Pub owners across Australia were reporting that the once popular Chicken Parmigiana had been overtaken in sales by the traditional American burger because where the burger provided great Instagram pictures, the Parmigiana just didn’t pop on screen.

You may be thinking ‘Why did this even make the news?’. There are surely more important news stories to report on around the globe. But this story is a great illustration of multiple and differing needs.

What do you think would be the main need consumers were trying to satisfy when they ordered food at a pub? The default thought would be satisfying their hunger. That would be true for all customers, however the publicans also failed to take into account the secondary need for communication that has arisen in the main Parmigiana purchasing demographic.

This is the hard part of thinking about your customers. You may satisfy their primary need incredibly well, but a secondary need could begin to arise in an area that you can’t tackle.

It is the same in the entertainment industry.

Take the cinema industry for example. If an audience’s need is to see prolific movies then it would probably be best satisfied by going to see the latest critically acclaimed art house release. However, this need is probably competing with the need for social inclusion and hence seeing the big action blockbuster that everyone is talking about could win out over the art house alternative.

Trying to understand the needs of your audience is by no means a simple task. Their needs are not always out in the open and your product could very easily be satisfying a need you haven’t even contemplated. But if you can gain an understanding of these needs then you won’t ever have the same dismal future that is ahead for the Chicken Parmigiana!