When Wendy’s entered Germany, it wanted to use two marketing promotions:

– That its quality was good “old-fashioned” quality

– That its burgers could be prepared 256 different “ways”

Luckily, Wendy’s hired a local person to work on its advertising staff, and the local pointed out that the word being used

for “old-fashion” meant outdated, and the word for “ways” meant roads or highways. Thus, Wendy’s narrowly avoided


Get our outdated hamburgers on 256 different highways

The lesson here is (A) hire local talent if you do business in a foreign country; (B) dictionary definitions are not

necessarily what is generally understood in the street (e.g. slang); (C) it is assumed that Germans think modern

quality is inferior to past quality, hence no progress in this area has been made; (D) it is assumed that Germans

want 256 choices, as opposed to a standard hamburger. [NOTE: We see in the Walmart Case Study, that

Walmart failed in Germany because it didn’t understand that Germans don’t like “greeters” at the door (why smile

in a store?), and Germans like to pack their own bags (why have someone else touch my purchases?)]

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