KATHMANDU: The fast food industry is full of examples of local restaurants being super-sized into global corporations. And most
of these global ‘fast-food brands’ rely heavily on the success of their product and tempting marketing in order to turn into
global corporations. Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) is a brilliant example of a brand that has, over the past half a century, been able to build a formidable brand, fan base and geographical reach that any global brand would envy.
‘Finger lickin’ good’: The brand’s first and most important ambassador is the product. Whether it is the original recipe chicken or the zinger burger, all KFC products are designed to please the taste buds. Customisation to the
local market taste and eating habits is essential for the product to succeed and KFC understands that it would be foolish to assume that local tastes and eating habits can be changed and therefore, the menu always reflects the
local touch instead.
‘Follow your taste’: The marketing of KFC is well honed to tempt consumers to walk into their well-lit, colourful, hygienic joints. Use of warm colours like red and orange is a globally proven success mantra for fast food chains. Huge amounts are spent annually to ensure that the visibility of the brand is not compromised. Given the fact that the target consumer base of the brand is very large, KFC as a brand has to devise marketing strategies that are able to cater to and draw attention to all segments of society. By using the elements of fun, good taste and a good retail environment, the brand — in different permutation and combinations — has been able to cleverly satisfy and tempt all its consumer segments.
The Colonel’s legacy and the red stripes: Colonel
Harland Sanders founded Kentucky Fried Chicken in 1952. Till date, Sanders remains an important part of the company’s branding
and advertisements, and the company continues to capitalise upon its legacy by freely using the ‘colonel’ in its public communication touch points. In fact, ‘Colonel Sanders’ or ‘The Colonel’ is a metonym for the company itself (source Wikipedia).
So good: The brand KFC has been based on the elements of fun, a great product and immaculate service. These globally receptive elements are synonymous with all fast food companies as they can be easily modified as per local season and reason. The KFC brand also uses the ‘mystic’ product positioning tactic in which it always brings to consumer knowledge that the recipe of its product is a trade ‘secret’ and only KFC can make the product. This sort of tactic is commonly used by food and beverages companies to ensure that their consumers remain loyal and keep coming back for that bucket. This truth is obliviously disputed.
The KFC brand today is recognised as a global eating option. The brand has all the key essentials of a typical fast food retailer — the
elements of fun, colour and ‘Western’ lifestyle. However, it is the successful execution of these elements that has placed the local restaurant into a global league.A classic case of a brand creating a corporation!
(The author is associated with The Chaudhary
Group and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)