How To Run In Warren Buffett’s Circle; Self Restraint

14 Nov How To Run In Warren Buffett’s Circle; Self Restraint

Warren Buffett calls it, “The Circle of Competence.” It’s not a select ring of financial hotshots he surrounds himself with, or a chummy roundtable of fellow billionaires. Warren Buffett’s “Circle of Competence” is an invisible line he’s drawn around himself as a reminder to stay within the three areas he’s known as an expert:

  1. Money
  2. Business
  3. His Life

This simple act of self-restraint that keeps him focused and prevents him from dabbling all over the place has sweetened his pot tremendously.  Especially for his Dairy Queen (DQ) brand in the Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) arena.

Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway is the parent company of Dairy Queen.

He gives his internal DQ marketing team and ad agency, Grey New York, complete freedom to spread their creative wings and fly—you’ve caught the rock & roll falcon hawking the DQ Blizzard in the, “So Good It’s RiDQulous” campaign. It’s just one of the live action spots shot by Academy Award-nominated Black Swan Cinematographer Matthew Libatique. And the human DQ spokesguy (a featured player on “All My Children”) is so appealing in the TV spots, he’s made it into the pages of Cosmopolitan magazine.  “Cosmo’s Summer Hot List” crowned him, “Dude we’d buy anything from.” And that includes dethroning the king of female-fantasy-granters, the “Old Spice Guy” in the Cosmo picks of all that sizzles this season. See? Cool things happen when cool clients like Buffett know when to get onboard and when to get out of the way. Including going along with the PR agency’s idea of having the DQ Blizzard Mobile deliver the featured treats to attendees at the annual shareholders’ meeting of Berkshire Hathaway.

The message here is more than a frozen shake concept that kicks ice. When an agency partner is trusted to work within its own “Circle of Competence,” the client is served results that are extra large.  It’s a client/agency relationship of mutual respect. Grey noted and honored DQ’s internal “Circle of Competence.”  An educated guess gives us an idea of the responsibilities contained within the DQ “C of C”:

  1. Providing product that truly delivers on the brand promise that, “Good Isn’t Good Enough”
  2. Crafting Blizzards in combinations of flavors and ingredients consumers crave (Mango Cheesecake, Caramel Cashew, Nutter Butter, among others)
  3. On-premise DQ restaurant experiences that support guest expectations

How did Grey communicate these areas of expertise via a series of funny and gritty TV spots?  By featuring the food in beauty shots that didn’t compromise the appetite appeal for the sake of laughs or creativity. Introduced in 1985, the Blizzard’s current marketing stewards treated the product as hero, presenting it with the respect its 26-year equity and history of earning-power deserve.

Ever had a Blizzard? Then you’re probably a fan of the frosty concoction. DQ even hosts an online fan club with 3.5 million members at last count. Visitors are greeted with this message:

So, do consumers think the Blizzard TV spots rule?

Ace Metrix, is an ad tracking company which measures advertising success using online panels of TV viewers to score spots based on metrics which include persuasiveness and likeability. Ace Metrix reports that DQ’s “So Good It’s RiDQulous” is this year’s most effective campaign in the entire QSR segment.

Bet McD’s is having a meltdown.