KFC IS LISTENING

Abstract

According to the National Restaurant Association, the growth of the restaurant industry has tremendous growth potential and just in 2014 alone, the restaurant-industry sales are projected to total $683.4 billion from the previous $586.7. Restaurants are an essential part of people’s life with 9 out of 10 consumers stating that they enjoy going to restaurants (National Restaurant Industry, 2015).

With Yum! Brand being the world’s largest restaurant companies, this report seeks to focus on how KFC, one of their major licensed brand, could leverage on the other two major brands: Pizza Hut and Taco Bell to further strengthen and bring Yum! Brands to greater heights.

KFC Corporation

KFC Corporation was founded in 1929 by Colonel Harland Sanders whom started with demonstrations with pressure cookers. Never did he realize that his trial and error with chickens and herbs with pressure cookers would led him to the famous Colonel secret recipe now used in all KFC stores. KFC then expanded exponentially via franchising and currently includes more than 15,000 restaurants in more than 120 countries (Houston, 2016). In Singapore alone, KFC currently has 76 outlets all over the different parts of Singapore

Financial Stability

According to their Annual Report in 2014, KFC’s franchising business model is proven to be incredibly strong, having double digits operating profit growth. KFC even set a new record for their international development by opening nearly 670 international units in 2014 (Brand, 2016).

With Yum! Brand being the world’s largest restaurant companies and KFC being one of the major licensed brands by operating profit (29%), it would be significant to analyse KFC’s social media strategies and how can KFC leverage on the other two major brands: Pizza Hut and Taco Bell to further strengthen and bring Yum! Brands to greater heights.

Social Media Analysis

Three main KFC social media platforms – Facebook, Instagram & Twitter (Fig. 3) will be analysed from 25 March to 8-April (2 weeks) to observe KFC’s frequency in posting, popularity among followers as well as the effectiveness towards their main goals of product customization, innovation and customer engagement (Brand, Yum! Brand Annual Report, 2016).

Interestingly, KFC’s content strategy in all three platforms do not vary much and most of their post in three different platforms are the same. However, as the amount of users present in each platform varies, their likes and shares for the same post on the various social media platform varies as well.

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Data Collection
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KFC Social Media

Overall Marketing Strategy

2 weeks of data collection and observation of KFC’s content strategy in social media, observations were made towards KFC’s content strategy via social media. KFC’s main content strategy is the promotion of their unique chicken series via family feast promotions. KFC makes use of high quality marketing and images to lure customers to try out their newly launched products.

KFC’s average rate of posting is around 1.06 post/day and the average number of likes varies across different platforms. On Instagram, the average number of likes is 163, for Facebook, 155 likes while twitter only at 13 likes (Fig 4). Despite KFC having huge amount of followers across the different platforms, it appeared that KFC might not be hitting their goal of customer’s engagement.

Public interest

After analysing KFC’s main social media platforms, Facebook, Instagram as well as their Twitter account, it appears that the public is more inclined towards two main segments of KFC’s postings. Firstly, the new chicken series and secondly, their breakfast series.

Looking at their new products launched almost every 2 months, Parmesan Chicken, Yang Yeum Chicken, Shoyuzu Chicken and Red Hot Chicken, it can be observed that KFC’s followers on their social media have high tendency to comment more on newly launched products as well as tagging their friends to inform them about the new launch. The engagement rate of newly launch products are much higher than other posts relating to Breakfast menu or other regular menu items. Comments such as “Favourite chicken so far”, “Bring this back” are seen across all their unique products. This gives KFC a sense of the public’s acceptance towards their newly launched products and how they should further engage their loyal customers.

Summary of main findings

Analysing KFC’s social media platforms, KFC’s social media strategy of using pictures to lure customers in trying out their new products is good and feasible, however what they are lacking is customers’ engagement as well as creative marketing promotions.

KFC lacks ongoing conversations with customers and most of their posts are one-directional without much engagement with customers.

Proposed Social Media Campaign

Looking at the high popularity for new launched products, KFC can invite customers to co-create the new product together. In this proposed social media campaign, the target market will be on customers who are open to experiences and active on social media.

Campaign Plan

KFC will be uploading a post on recent hot topics and allowing customers to provide suggestions on “what flavour of chicken does this remind you of?”

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This campaign #KFCislistening hopes to garner more suggestions and ideas from loyal customers in terms of their creative chicken flavours. Since KFC’s target customers are teenagers and young adults, by posting hot topics such as the recent Korean Drama “Descendants of the Sun” it will definitely garner huge attention from the public. New flavours such as “Korean snowing chicken or even Korean

Furthermore, KFC’s discounts and promotions has always been a great marketing strategy for them to attract loyal customers, this campaign aims to attract customers by providing them with $100 vouchers for the most creative chicken flavour. Furthermore, the new flavour will be launched the following week and will last about a week. New flavours such as “Korean snowing chicken” or even “Korean spicy chicken” can be considered.

With this campaign, it will definitely attract a lot of attention from people who watched this drama before and most importantly, it will be able to attract loyal as well as new customers sparked by the curiosity of the latest drama and KFC’s new marketing campaign. Apart from that, hot topics other than dramas are posted every week.

However, one of the foreseeable obstacle is that people might not be receptive towards certain new products or some may comment irrelevant comments on the post diluting the focus of the marketing campaign. Furthermore, some may even doubt and complain about the fairness of results. Hence KFC has to be transparent in terms of their criteria as well as transparent in the posting of results.

Thank you!

-Dorothy Lee