Can Wendy’s Out-Innovate McDonald’s with this Transformative Plan?

Much attention has been given to the marketing strategy of McDonald’s (NYSE:MCD) after the hamburger chain reported a surprising 2.2 percent decline in same-store sales in October, and as a result the industry has turned its focus towards sales figures throughout the fast-food sector. However, in its Wednesday presentation at a Wedbush conference, Wendy’s (NASDAQ:WEN) sought to distinguish itself from its rivals.

What is Wendy’s Focus?

Speaking at the California Dreamin’ Consumer Conference in New York, Chief Financial Officer Steve Hare described the company as being in the “early stages of a transformation of the brand.” Because the past 10 years have been challenging for the company, Wendy’s management is focused on differentiating itself from both fast food competitors like McDonald’s and Burger King (NYSE:BKC) and edgier rivals like Five Guys, Panera (NASDAQ:PNRA), and Chipotle Mexican Grill (NYSE:CMG).

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As Hare stated in his presentation, Wendy’s is looking to develop the company’s “experience activation” concept as both a store renovation design strategy and a marketing strategy. With experience activation, which is a marketing process used to create a unique brand experience, the company expects to make Wendy’s a more contemporary chain…