Assignment 2: Branding
28 August 2013
The first example of poor branding I have chosen is Kentucky Fried Chicken, better known as KFC. Over the years, the number of KFC locations has diminished. Since 2010, over 100 stores have closed each year. In 2012, KFC lost 5 billion in sales. Some critics say the chain franchised too quickly, however I think the failures are due in part to bad branding. KFC is not the only fast-food chain with fried chicken; there is Zaxby’s, Popeye’s, Bojangles, among others. A brand encompasses a name, symbol, design and an identification that sets the product apart from the masses. Many examples will show that KFC did a poor job identifying their brand, or maintaining that brand. These include KFC’s pink bucket campaign for breast cancer, their boneless campaign and current revitalization efforts.
KFC’s pink bucket campaign in 2010 can be considered a failure. Although partnered with Susan G. Komen for the Cure, KFC was blasted for their pink buckets as the color pink could easily be interpreted as relating to undercooked chicken. Other critics attacked KFC for exploiting breast cancer while promoting obesity with their high in fat, carbohydrate and sodium food. Breast Cancer Action even accused KFC of “pinkwashing” while encouraging an item that is related to the said disease. Pinkwashing is defined as “the promotion of consumer goods and services using the pink ribbon that represents support for breast cancer-related charities” (Wikipedia).
KFC’s famous colonial perhaps needed to be revamped years ago as other popular chains sprouted in the same town. There was no atmosphere in KFC. It was a plain and simple fast food fried chicken joint. Their recent campaign to go boneless included a popular commercial where the Dad says “I ate the bones!” This slogan took off and many were heard quoting. Nevertheless, the slogan was questioned about whether KFC’s true message was whether consumers were too dumb to notice eating the bones.
KFC is however, piloting a site this month of August 2013 that has a new name, new image and entirely new menu. KFC will become KFC Eleven where the eleven represents the eleven different herbs and spices used in their batter. The menu will consist of healthier chicken items, but include flatbreads, salads. Yet, one cannot help but ask, is it too late? Will the multi-celebrity-sponsored “Kentucky Fried Cruelty” website and group ever cease?
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