Panera's Positioning: A Suggestion

I like what Panera stands for:

1. They give back to the community through various programs

2. They are piloting a cafe where you pay what you can, take what you need

3. The CEO was on Fox News tge other day talking sense, about how we must forget political divisiveness and solve real economic problems

Their brand needs help though. A very brief suggestion - change the positioning.

Right now Panera doesn't own any unique mind space. They are competing with Starbucks instead. With better food but worse coffee.

Suggest changing the focus to one it already owns, judging from who goes there and its corporate values: family meals.

More specifically, build the brand around the concept of old-fashioned Sunday dinner. Sort of like Boston Market, but with a Midwestern feel.

My two cents. Good luck to them.


Dr. Dannielle Blumenthal is an author, independent brand researcher, and adjunct marketing professor with 20 years of varied experience. An avid researcher and prolific, creative writer, Dr. Blumenthal's interests span communication, marketing, qualitative media content analysis, political rhetoric, propaganda, leadership, management, organizational development, and more. An engaged citizen, she has for several years worked to raise awareness around child sex trafficking and the dangers of corruption at @drdannielle on Twitter. You can find her articles at Medium, and, and she frequently answers questions on Quora. All opinions are Dr. Blumenthal's own.