What Will Your Impossible Whopper Be?

How to pioneer innovation like Burger King

The new Burger King Impossible Whopper has hit the market, the latest trend in the increasingly popular world of plant-based offerings. It’s an important reminder that even established brands need to stay on their toes and change with the times: it’s not impossible, and it never is. But how did Burger King identify their next steps as a brand – and how can you pioneer innovation with your own “Impossible Whopper”-level great idea?

Audit Your Brand

You should audit your brand at least once a year to keep things fresh and accurate, but when you need some new ideas, that’s a definite sign a brand audit is needed. Auditing your brand will answer questions like these:

  1. How are customers experiencing your brand?
    BK’s motto is “Be Your Way.” Without plant-based offerings on their menu, they were missing out on a customer base that couldn’t have BK “their way.” Jumping on the plant-based trend solved that!
  2. Where do you sit in the competitive landscape?
    It’s pretty easy to name plenty of other fast food options. BK distinguished itself with the Impossible Whopper, a fresh take on their branded classic burger that expanded their customer base and put their name in the news.
  3. What has changed in your organization or cause?
    Perhaps BK was getting feedback that their customers wanted more plant-based options to eat. Perhaps they looked at market trends and saw how the trend was growing. Whatever the case, knowing the answer to this question helped them make a bold marketing decision and take their brand to the next level.

Read this blog post to learn more about answering brand questions through an audit.

Listen to Social Conversation

Social listening can provide valuable data to help you learn what your audience wants – or how they’re responding to what you’re doing. Here are three ways social listening could help you find your own “Impossible Whopper”:

  1. Learn what your audience is saying about you – and what they want from you
    Tracking social conversation is like having a free focus group. Social listening unlocks a next-level wealth of information you can use to understand what your target audience or existing customers want. From there, this data can help you fulfill the “digital wishlist” your audience is asking for. What better way to improve brand loyalty?
  2. Tell the people what they want to hear
    It’s all very well if you have a great new idea for a product, service, or something else to give your audience. How are you going to let them know? Use social listening to learn how to talk in your audience’s language. This can help you improve your copy, shape the conversation around your brand, and even inform your business and marketing decisions.
  3. Stay on top of public sentiment and potential controversies
    This will help you both before and after your “Impossible Whopper” idea hits the market. Social listening can help you gather key insights and data to inform strategy and execution, or it can get you in front of any potential negative press as soon as possible so your audience knows you care.

Check out these signs that you should be doing social listening for your brand.

Use Your Brand Style Guide (but don’t be afraid to get creative!)

Your brand style guide will ensure that whatever new ideas you have will still feel authentic to your brand. It can involve everything from your color palette, to typography, to image style, and more. Innovation is great, but make sure you’re not putting your audience so far out of the comfort zone of your established brand experience.

Consider the way BK markets their well-known Whopper as “100% beef.” Using the same typography and image style, they introduced their Impossible Whopper as “100% Whopper, 0% beef.” This assures customers that they’ll be getting the BK experience they know and love, but with an innovative twist.

That being said, don’t be afraid to get creative! BK did this simply by adding a complementary color to their brand’s existing color palette that also played right into the plant-based messaging: a light green that goes perfectly with their signature red. Their brand style guide helped them engineer a design solution that was innovative, but still felt authentically theirs. Learn more about what your brand style guide can do for you.


So, what is your brand’s “Impossible Whopper”? It’s no impossible task – these tools and many more can help you identify, strategize, and execute innovation for your brand. As always, feel free to get in touch with us to identify what your “Impossible Whopper” will be. Let’s Connect