Brand Rant: An All New KFC...err, KGC?

Posted by Ben Wright on Jun 11, 2009 4:33:29 AM

In what will surely go down as one of the greatest marketing disasters in decades, Kentucky Fried Chicken is now attempting to go after the healthier fast food clientel. With a campaign that asks loyal fans to "unthink" KFC and embrace the new KGC product: Kentucky Grilled Chicken.

The Colonel must be rolling over in his grave.

I get it - marketing guys are supposed to be creative, thinking outside of the box and all. But aren't we also supposed to have a clue about the brands we support?

Obviously the people behind the launch of KFC's grilled chicken product didn't think so. Somehow they were convinced that consumers would forget what the "F" stands for in KFC. Really? After all these years of building brand equity behind their core product, suddenly their considering a name change (KGC) and leaving their original product neglected (or even, dare we say, made to look like the greasy, fatty bad guy)?

True to form for fast-food introductions, they thought the answer was to simply spend millions of dollars in a TV campaign with creative that was under-whelming.

And here's the kicker: they announced a free grilled chicken event. All you had to do was download a coupon and take in to their neighborhood KFC.

Excellent! Sounds like a great sampling event...Except that participating restaurants ran out of food and many dealers didn't participate because they didn't like the reimbursement policy. So the company had no choice but to rescind the offer.

What a great opportunity for all of us to remember the basics of brand management:

1) Know who you are (or who your product is).

2) Know who your competitors are.

3) Understand what role you play in the life of your customer.

4) Create an ongoing plan against your brand strategies and platforms.

5) Execute the heck out of it!

Topics: Branding & Design

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