KFC’s Marketing Strategy and “Finger Lickin’ Good” Advertising Campaigns
Who doesn’t like juicy on the inside and crispy on the outside delicious fried chicken that is finger lickin’ good? Well, most of us are familiar with the secret recipe of the Colonel and it’s without a doubt one of the most well-known brands around the world. Yes, we’re talking about Kentucky Fried Chicken.
With its irresistible fried chicken, KFC is everyone’s favorite and in fact is the second largest fast food chain in the world after McDonald’s and we’re here to dive into its delicious success from the day it was founded.
Is its success merely a result of being “so good”? We say no. KFC’s marketing strategy is a complex one, and we’ve explained the most important elements below. Let’s go!
Marketing Mix of KFC
KFC’s marketing mix is a key factor in the company’s success. The brand’s focus on product quality, competitive pricing, and effective marketing has helped it to become one of the global fast food chains in the world. The marketing mix of KFC is a set of strategies that the company uses to reach its target market and promote its products. The four Ps of the global brand’s marketing mix is product, price, place, and promotion. Let’s take a closer look at the 4 Ps:
KFC’s product mix includes a variety of chicken-based dishes, such as fried chicken, chicken sandwiches like the well-loved zinger burger, and chicken wraps. The company also offers a variety of side dishes, such as french fries, mashed potatoes with delicious gravy sauce, coleslaw, and biscuits. In addition to KFC’s classic menu, the brand also offers a variety of desserts, such as ice cream, cookies, and pies.
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Kentucky Fried Chicken prices its products competitively and offers a variety of value meals and discounts to attract customers. KFC also offers a loyalty program that rewards customers for their purchases.
The brand has a global presence with over 25,000 restaurants in over 150 countries and its restaurants are located in a variety of settings, including malls, airports, and stand-alone locations.
KFC uses different types of promotional strategies to reach its target audience such as television, radio, print, and online advertising to promote its delicious products. The brand also sponsors sporting events and other cultural events to generate awareness of its brand.
Branding Strategy of KFC
We can categorically state that KFC has a branding strategy that has developed over the course of nearly seven decades. Additionally, KFC is without a doubt one of the top brands when discussing digital branding examples in the era we are living in. So how did the brand manage to achieve this? Of course, there were many different ways to do this, and KFC made great use of many of them in its branding strategy, and it clearly succeeded in appealing to a great many people in many countries.
KFC’s unique selling proposition is its unique blend of 11 herbs and spices. The company’s branding emphasized the fact that its chicken is made with a special recipe that makes it taste better than other fast food chicken. In fact, on the official website of Yum! Brands, which KFC is a subsidiary of, states that “If it’s not finger lickin’ good, it’s not us.” With that, it’s safe to say that KFC positions itself as a premium fast food good brand, meaning that the company’s branding emphasizes the fact that its chicken is made with high-quality ingredients and is cooked to perfection.
However, KFC’s branding strategy doesn’t stop here. Let’s take a look at some of the key elements the brand uses for its branding strategy that its customers love:
- Logo: KFC’s logo is a simple, yet effective design that features the image of Colonel Sanders. The logo is instantly recognizable and helps to create a strong sense of brand identity.
- Slogan: One of the most popular slogans the brand has is “It’s finger lickin’ good!” This slogan is catchy and memorable, and it helps to associate KFC with delicious food.
- Color scheme: KFC’s color scheme is red and white. These colors are bright and eye-catching, and they help to create a positive brand image.
- Typography: The font that KFC uses is minimalistic yet elegant helping to create a sense of sophistication and class for the brand itself.
- Packaging: With its simple and stylish packaging, KFC packaging helps to protect the food while promoting the brand in an effective way.
Advertising Strategy of KFC
KFC advertising strategy aims to increase brand awareness among potential customers and to differentiate its products from those of its competitors. But, how does the brand manage to do that? Well, obviously emphasizing the uniqueness of its fried chicken, most importantly its flavor and the Colonel’s secret recipe. In addition, KFC advertising strategy encourages potential customers to visit its restaurants or order its products online. The company’s ads often include a CTA, such as a website address or a phone number.
Kentucky Fried Chicken uses various advertising channels to reach its target audience. As mentioned earlier, traditional media are still a part of KFC’s marketing mix, but digital marketing has also become increasingly important for the brand. Kentucky Fried Chicken actively engages in social media marketing, online promotions, and partnerships with influencers to create buzz and attract customers. The brand also is living proof that digital marketing is essential for every business. Thus, if you’re also on the hunt for the most effective digital marketing strategy, collaborating with marketing agencies for the food industry should be your first priority.
Here’s a carefully thought advertising campaign example by KFC:
Not everyone’s happy, but you will be. pic.twitter.com/9TsjYso0In
— Azim A. (@AzimAkhtar_) June 3, 2023
The brand also adapts KFC marketing campaigns to suit local preferences and cultural contexts. While maintaining a consistent brand image globally, they tailor their promotions to resonate with specific markets by incorporating local flavors, traditions, and celebrities.
Last but not least, KFC consistently introduces new menu items and limited-time promotions to keep customers engaged and attract new ones. They experiment with different flavors, meal combinations, and menu extensions to cater to changing consumer preferences and maintain excitement around the world. For instance, KFC has announced on its Instagram account that they’re bringing back the Mac Bowls into their menu:
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KFC sometimes uses scarcity marketing in its advertising campaigns to create a sense of urgency and encourage people to buy its products before they’re gone. For example, KFC has run ads that offer limited-time discounts or free food. And of course, the brand uses social media in the most effective way as its advertising strategy. We explain it in more detail below.
Social Media Strategy of KFC
Kentucky Fried Chicken is a global brand. Thus, it has specific accounts for most counties on many platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook.
Different social media accounts are managed in many different countries such as KFC Singapore, KFC UK, and KFC South Africa. All of them produce content differently according to the target audience. When we examine KFC’s social media accounts, we see that many different countries such as South Africa, India, and the UK have verified social media accounts. Their biggest feature is that they produce funny and enjoyable content. This allows users to follow the brand’s account permanently and to be aware of all kinds of discounts or campaigns.
Here’s how different country KFC accounts interact with users:
Stay afloat this long weekend with KFC’s $10 8pc Bucket. Not only delicious, but sits perfectly on a tube.. pic.twitter.com/UDaJz2XoH1
— KFC (@kfc) May 26, 2023
The brand creates engaging content in a mix of current events and news. For example, in the tweet below, KFC UK created a hilarious tweet referring to Apple’s new AR/VR glasses, Vision Pro.
Admin’s been testing this new Apple VR Headset pic.twitter.com/I0M6hJW80x
— KFC UK (@KFC_UKI) June 6, 2023
KFC’s social media team is active and responsive, and it often uses humor and creativity to connect with customers. The company’s social media campaigns have been successful in generating buzz and driving sales.
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KFC does this by responding to comments and questions, sharing user-generated content, and running contests and promotions. The brand also uses social media to promote its products – and brand of course!- The company does this by sharing photos and videos of its food, running effective advertising campaigns, and using hashtags to reach a wider audience. They also offer coupons (which its customers love!) via social media which is always an effective way to attract customers.
Growth Strategy of KFC
The company has definitely increased its sales and revenue in recent years thanks to its highly effective growth strategies. The brand uses various tactics for growth:
- International expansion: KFC entered the Chinese market in 1987 and has since become one of the most successful foreign brands in the country. One of the key factors in KFC’s success in China has been its focus on localization. KFC has adapted its menu to Chinese tastes, offering items such as congee, rice rolls, and even dim sum. In addition to its focus on localization, KFC has also been successful in China due to its early entry into the market. KFC was the first Western fast-food chain to open in China, and this gave it a significant head start over its competitors such as McDonald’s, Burger King, and more. KFC was also able to benefit from the country’s economic growth, which led to an increase in disposable income and a growing demand for Western food.
- Digital transformation: The company is investing in digital transformation to improve its customer experience. KFC is using technology to make it easier for customers to order food, find restaurants, and redeem rewards. The brand has been undergoing a digital transformation in recent years, with the goal of becoming a more customer-centric and data-driven company. As part of this transformation, KFC has invested in new technologies, helping Kentucky Fried Chicken to improve the customer experience, increase efficiency, and gain insights into customer behavior. One of the key aspects of KFC’s digital transformation has been the focus on mobile ordering. KFC’s mobile app allows customers to order food, pay for their orders, and track the status of their orders. The app has been a success, with over 10 million downloads.
- Partnerships: KFC partners with other global brands from various industries to cross-promote its products. In fact, the brand does this in the most absurd way! Here’s a collaboration between KFC and Crocs:
Advertising Campaigns of KFC
As we covered all the essential steps that make KFC one of the biggest brands in the world, let’s take a look at how the brand used its marketing and advertising strategies. KFC marketing strategy has been successful in helping the company to grow its business and become a popular fast food chain. The company’s focus on its USP, its target audience, and its marketing channels has helped it to reach a wide audience and promote its brand in a variety of ways.
KFC-“Finger Lickin’ Good” Campaign
Launched in 1956, the “Finger Lickin’ Good” campaign is one of the most successful KFC marketing campaigns in fast food brand history. The slogan continues to be used today, nearly seven decades after the campaign that made KFC famous.
KFC – First Bite
After craving for a delicious fried chicken, obviously the most mouth watering part is the first bite. Make sure you’re full before attempting to watch the campaign below!
KFC – The Story of The Little One Campaign
Perhaps one of the cutest campaigns of Kentucky Fried Chicken is its “The Story of The Little One.”
KFC South Africa – Anything For The Taste
The “Anything for the taste” commercial for KFC is a humorous take on the lengths people will go to in order to get their hands on a delicious meal. The commercial begins with a man posing as a food inspector in order to get free KFC. He travels all over South Africa, visiting different KFC restaurants and pretending to inspect their food. The staff at the restaurants are always happy to see him, and they give him free food without question.
KFC – Crossroads
This funny commercial by Kentucky Fried Chicken begins with a chicken and a turkey facing off at a dusty crossroads. The two animals are clearly rivals, and they’re both eager to prove who’s the best.
KFC – Chickenstock
KFC’s “chickenstock” case study is a great example of how a company can turn a negative into a positive. In 2022, KFC was facing a problem with people stealing their images from Google and using them to sell products without permission. Instead of getting angry, KFC decided to take a humorous approach. They created a website called “chickenstock” where people could download high-resolution images of KFC chicken for free. The website was a huge success, and it helped to generate a lot of buzz for KFC.
KFC Singapore – Colonel’s Guarantee
In this short campaign ad, KFC supports the idea that they believe every piece of chicken their customers get should be “Finger Lickin’ Good,” and gives their customers the “Colonel’s Guarantee,” to replace your meal if it isn’t.
We believe Kentucky Fried Chicken plays the marketing game in the most effective way possible in addition to selling delicious fried chicken. The company certainly does something right to be able to maintain its position as one of the most well-known and loved fast food chains in the world. The brand has powerful marketing strategies that vary precisely depending on the region, country, culture, and target audience. We advise you to collaborate with digital marketing agencies if you’re also trying to up your brand’s or business’s marketing ante.
Now it’s time to lean back and plan your KFC order. Because after all this delicious information, it’s impossible that you haven’t craved a delicious and crispy fried chicken!