G1 Individual Research Project – Analyzing the Facebook pages of Burger King, KFC and McDonald’s

Hi everyone!

I’d like to share my research summary for the individual project.

Introduction

These days, social media has been gaining more importance as a tool for companies to market their products and their brands. This phenomenon also happens in fast food industry. Social media can be used to generate brand awareness and consumer engagement, which will lead to positive brand attitude. Brand attitude is shown to affect purchasing decision, and thus it is important for companies to effectively generate brand awareness and consumer engagement, so as to eventually increase their bottom lines.

I opted to study Facebook pages because they are various means which companies and users can express themselves. Narratives, photos, videos, emotion icons are just a few of those means. The three fast food companies that will be the focus of this study is Burger King (BK), KFC and McDonald’s. This is because they are the three leading fast food giants in Singapore. The time frame for my research is one month, from 21 February to 21 March 2016.

Research questions

  1. Which of the three is the least effective in brand awareness generation and consumer engagement?
  2. What can be done to help this company?

To study these, I have used some indicators such as the average and total number of posts, nature of the posts and responses, and the features of the Facebook pages.

Analysis & Findings

1. BK has the most average and total number of posts out of the three companies, which could possibly signal the best effort in generating brand awareness.

2. However, BK’s posts show a lack of commitment to the company’s famous “Be Your Way” slogan. Most of its posts blatantly focused on BK’s products, with minimal to no emphasis on the humanization and consumers’ lifestyles, when these are the two aspects that should be represented by the “Be Your Way” slogan. On the other hand, McDonald’s and KFC’s posts occasionally include themes that consumers can relate to. For example, KFC reposted a consumer’s post and mentioned that some people regard KFC not only as a restaurant, but as a place with memories. Also, McDonald’s adopted brand journalism through a post of short video that mentioned how an awkward date is made better by a Frappe.

It was also discovered that BK’s initial campaign of “Ayam What I Am” (a pun for “I am What I Am”) is meant to be the application of “Be Your Way”. There was an attempt to personalize the Chicken Fries packaging by producing different designs. However, it was noted that eventually, the campaign sidetracked and it was more focused on the competition for users to take pictures with bus stop advertisements that feature the various packaging of the Chicken Fries.

3. It was also found that BK’s Facebook page is not verified, whereas the other two are. Verification (which is a small blue tick that appears beside the name of the company) might seem minute, but this can affect the credibility of the companies. This is especially so in fast food industry, whereby there are so many Facebook accounts under the same brand across the world, and even within Singapore itself (for example: KFC Kallang, McD’s Jurong Point). The relevance of this issue with the research questions is when the consumers visit these unofficial pages and leave their responses there, expecting the companies to reply. However, since the companies will not track the unofficial pages, it might send a false impression that the companies do not care about the consumers, and might jeopardize the companies’ future attempts to engage consumers and generate brand awareness.

So overall, it was found that BK’s Facebook page is the least effective in generating brand awareness and engaging the consumers.

Suggestions

The main reason for the failure is that BK failed to consistently and sufficiently apply the “Be Your Way” slogan. Therefore, the suggestions below is to ensure that the slogan is consistently and sufficiently applied.

1. #ThisIsMyWay campaign

The essence of this campaign is the customization of orders, because currently BK only serves fixed menu items. The first stage of this campaign is to invite influencers to compete in customizing their food and beverage, and post the short video of this competition on Facebook.

Once the users are intrigued, BK proceeds to the second stage, allowing all consumers to customize their own orders. BK employees can take pictures of consumers with their orders, or consumers can take their own pictures. Consumers can also describe their customizations, and the inspirations for those customized orders. This is then posted to Facebook, followed by the #ThisIsMyWay hashtag. Entries that receive the most “Like”, “Love”, “Haha”, or “Wow” will be rewarded with cash or vouchers.

Through this campaign, consumers can inspire and be inspired by others’ customizations and share feedback on Facebook. This will hence increase consumer engagement. Furthermore, brand awareness will increase because consumers will develop an implicit memory that BK is a brand that allows customization according to the consumers’ lifestyle choices.

2. #FutureBKBurgerCandidate campaign

In this campaign, the product is somewhat fixed, but the reward is customized. This campaign will require consumers to submit their own ideas of the BK burger, subject to some rules that BK may choose to impose such as the burger must use at least 3 ingredients that BK has never used. The submission is followed by the #FutureBKBurgerCandidate hashtag. BK will then invite the hold a poll on Facebook for the top few entries, and the winning submission will be rewarded. The winner can choose from a list of rewards, ranging from donation to a beneficiary of the winner’s choice to a short trip to a nearby country.

This campaign will apply the “Be My Way” slogan because the consumers can submit entries that are based on their gastronomic experiences, and the winner gets to choose how BK can reward him. So this campaign will further enhance consumers’ implicit memory of BK as a personalized brand that lets consumers be their way. Also, requesting submissions will increase consumer engagement

Thanks for reading, and all the best for your remaining papers!

G1 | Group 4 | Breadtalk

Hi everyone,

Our group has selected BreadTalk (Singapore market) as the focus of our project.

Background and Analysis of Breadtalk

BreadTalk was founded in July 2000 by George Quek, with its first outlet situated at Bugis Junction. It is a designer confectionery store, well known for its designer breads and other baked goodies, especially its pork floss bun. Within a span of three years, BreadTalk and its founder received various accolades and expanded to 20 outlets in Singapore. Sticking to its designer confectionery brand image, BreadTalk would release several new creations every month to fascinate and draw new and current consumers. It plays on gripping designs and flavors and also uses eye-catching names for its food products such as ‘Spice Girl’ or ‘Crouching Tiger, Hidden Bacon’. Another point of differentiation for the brand is that it employs the unique open kitchen concept. Currently, BreadTalk is part of a larger conglomerate known as BreadTalk Group, which houses 8 brands across 16 territories around the world.

Unfortunately, in 2015, BreadTalk found itself surrounded by not one but two controversies – ‘Lee Bu Kai Ni (I Can’t Leave You) Buns’ and ‘Freshly Made Soya Bean’ scandals. In the former controversy, BreadTalk was criticized by the public for trying to ‘make a profit’ in selling these buns, presumably by leveraging on the ‘hot trend’ of people mourning the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew. In the latter scandal, BreadTalk was at the receiving end of a consumer backlash when a photograph showing an employee filling BreadTalk’s bottles with Yeo’s soya bean milk went viral online. These two controversies have inevitably adversely affect BreadTalk’s reputation. This thus prompted our group to explore the aspect of BreadTalk’s crisis management.

Research Question

Our research question is: How can BreadTalk use social media to perform effective crisis management within its Singapore market?

When the two crisis broke out, BreadTalk hardly engaged in effective crisis management. This is evident from YouGov’s polling results in 2015 which revealed that BreadTalk’s brand index (measured by “perception of quality, value, overall impression of the brand, satisfaction and recommendation”) fell to the negative range for the first time in 2015 after the two controversies. On its Facebook platform, BreadTalk only posted an apology post and was passive in responding to the negative comments made on its page. Its Twitter and Instagram accounts also made no mention of both incidents. Interestingly, BreadTalk only apologized to individual consumers who sent them ‘backlash’ tweets. The backlash that BreadTalk received from its consumers on both Facebook and Twitter accounts for the fact that BreadTalk’s consumers are active social media players and are thus highly influenced by words of mouth and online review. This is further supported by a 2012 Nielsen’s global social media report which indicated that more than two thirds of Singapore consumers use social media platforms or online reviews for basing choices on food related purchases.

Given the highly unpredictable nature of online controversy, crisis management within the social media platforms is thus of utmost important to BreadTalk. This is especially so when its ‘Freshly Made Soya Bean’ scandal resulted in another unexpected online spillover effect in which consumers began questioning the freshness of BreadTalk’s other food products on social media.. Consequently, effective crisis management would enable BreadTalk to mitigate negative effects and manage its image well in order to not lose consumers’ trust and confidence in the brand. Otherwise, BreadTalk’s sales might be affected in the long run.

Value of Study

Our recommendations aim to serve as content strategies that will fulfill these objectives:

  •  To manage and mitigate the negative perceptions and emotions associated to the BreadTalk brand due to these controversies
  •   To rekindle customers’ long-term confidence in BreadTalk

Method

Before we make detailed recommendations as to how BreadTalk could better maximize their use of online tools and content with respect to engaging their stakeholders in the context of a crisis, we would first need to assess BreadTalk’s current digital footprint better identify the areas that BreadTalk is doing well in, as well as the areas where it could improve upon. We plan to do so in two ways:

Firstly, we intend to analyse BreadTalk’s crisis management strategy in order to conduct a crisis management performance evaluation to gain insights on the sources of failure of previous crisis management efforts. This is done by observing BreadTalk’s responses on social media platforms to the two scandals mentioned above.  Similarly, we will also evaluate the social media crisis management strategies of BreadTalk’s notable competitors in the F&B industry.  This will make our proposal more robust in helping BreadTalk gain an edge over its competitors.

Secondly, we plan to conduct a survey to gauge the sentiments that the public has of BreadTalk. Using the survey results, we are able to better understand consumers’ expectations and hence adapt our solution accordingly to make it more effective.

Conclusion

While BreadTalk has attempted to manage crises, such crisis management strategy may not be translated well in its social media platforms. Moving forward, our group aims to utilize the data collected to develop an effective social media strategy for BreadTalk that fulfills the aforementioned objectives.

References

http://eresources.nlb.gov.sg/infopedia/articles/SIP_657_2005-01-25.html

http://www.mumbrella.asia/2015/09/sentiment-data-reveals-extent-of-brand-damage-to-breadtalk-by-singapore-soya-bean-milk-saga/

http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/breadtalk-tries-to-rise-above-scandal

https://sg.finance.yahoo.com/news/singaporeans-purchasing-decisions-heavily-influenced-021900311.html

 

Thank you, and we look forward to sharing more with you on Thursday!

Anzie, Amira Amani, Inez, Michelle, Shanandra
G4