“A foie gras burger has a halo effect,” and other things you don’t expect a Wendy’s guy to say.

Hey, Japan. It’s the FOIE-GRAS-ANATOR (since apparently Wendy’s more traditional Baconator doesn’t do much for the Japanese consumer).

The term “brand” is like the term “rock music.” You can’t just throw it around. It means too many things.

We should stop saying it. Or subdivide the term into hard-brand, alt-brand, country-brand, soft-brand, folk-brand, Dad-brand and possibly schlock-brand. Like we did with rock.

Because if you don’t consider the concept of “brand” ultimately elastic, almost without limit as it travels over international borders, how can you even listen to the guy who’s reintroducing Wendy’s to Japan after it failed to thrive o’er there years ago?

Wendy’s Japan is being reborn… not as fast food but as “fast casual,” quicker than a table-service restaurant, yet with better quality and atmosphere than fast-food outfits. ‘The fast-casual category has taken off in the U.S.—Panera Bread, Pollo Loco and so on—but doesn’t exist in Japan,’ [successful Japanese businessman Ernie] Higa says. A spiffy new shop design features agreeable lighting, comfortable seating and free Wi-Fi.

…The foie gras burger has become the bestseller, led by heavy media coverage. The Japan-only premium line accounts for 30% of sales overall.”

See, I guess everything changes but the name when you leave the immediate vicinity. It’s like the kid who moves to a new school and gets to completely remake his personality. Or her.

Unless all they’re really talking about is the new redesign like over here only they also offer to sell you goose bits on your burger.

I prefer to believe that Wendy’s has a whole other secret life over there in Japan.