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KFC’s Marketing Strategy – It’s Finger-Lickin’ Good!

There is no denying the fact that the number of chicken lovers is increasing every day. KFC aka Kentucky Fried Chicken is a world-renowned chain of fast food restaurants based in the USA. It is the world’s most popular chain of restaurants that sells chicken in different variations. Did you know? KFC ranks second on the Forbes list of the top 10 global fast-food chains. KFC receives more than 12 million customers per day in different restaurants spread across 109 countries in the world. In this blog today, we shall share the details of how KFC marketing strategy created a stir in the food industry and achieved global attention. 

KFC Consumer Profile

KFC uses demographic segmentation for serving the target market. This includes both vegetarian and non-vegetarian customers. Its offerings cater to kids, young adults and all age groups. We can categorize KFC’s target audience into four groups:

  1. Children

  2. Teens & Young Adults

  3. Families

  4. Budget Customers

The primary customer profile includes teenagers and families because most teenagers love to dine out with their friends or order a meal online. The secondary customer profile is the adults. 

kfc global marketing strategy

Source – Statista

Everything About KFC Marketing Strategy – Digital Marketing Strategy of KFC

KFC’s marketing strategy includes different ways to promote the brand to its customers. Here are the details of the different marketing strategies used by KFC.

1. Email Marketing

KFC uses AMP technology to send out bulk emails. If you are a KFC customer, these emails are hard to miss out on because they look different from other regular emails. How? These emails include synergic order buttons, food carousels, animations, sliders, subscription forms, interactive meal showcases and more.

They segregate the audience through this strategy. After knowing the target audience, they customize the email campaigns according to their needs. Therefore, the awareness they create garners conversion and increases the profit margin of the brand.

2. Content Marketing

KFC’s marketing strategy includes two specific content marketing tactics. The first is, they create uncommon chicken stuff and get the attention of the media. The second strategy is making real and engaging content on different free platforms like YouTube. They use both these strategies effectively. On their different social media platforms, they post short, informative and crisp content to get the attention of the audience. 

kfc international marketing strategy

Source – Slide to Doc

Also, what’s appreciable is the way they dubbed a single video in different languages for their audience. They create content in the form of pictures, videos and even stories. If you check global.kfc.com, you shall find different stories on different festivals like Diwali, Eid and more. Also, you shall find recipes for some of their famous dishes.

3. Social Media Marketing

KFC is active on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for increasing brand awareness and also delivering the latest updates. 

For Facebook

KFC’s marketing strategy is such that they keep their Facebook handle up to date by posting engaging content continuously. If you go through the posts, you shall know how they engage their audience by arranging contests and giving rewards to the winners. Also, they share product-related memes to stay in the trend. Also, they offer the latest information about the offers and continue posting videos and pictures with short & crisp eye-catching captions that act as the hook factor to lure customers to order.

For Instagram

Just like Facebook, they continue to post palatable stuff on Instagram as well. The visuals of fried chicken lure the customers to a great extent. They also share information about the availability of specific meals. Their Instagram shows how heavily they are inclined towards memes to attract the young audience. Also, they organize different challenges and offer them a free meal as a reward.

Twitter

When it comes to Twitter, KFC creates interactive tweets and they try to keep the conversation simple and go on. They keep on asking questions like “Hi Genz, Who Like Chicken?” The tweets are humorous and sarcastic. Thus it engages the followers. Their followers either retweet or comment. The best thing is the way they reply to some of the comments. Here are some examples.

kfc digital marketing strategy

Source – KFC Twitter

KFC on YouTube

Even though KFC’s marketing strategy includes video marketing on the list of digital marketing channels, it also uses YouTube for advertisements. KFC adds short videos of two minutes. The YouTube channel has a good number of subscribers. KFC uses YouTube as a secondary medium to show the ads. 

kfc target market strategy

Source – KFC India

Celebrity Endorsement

Celebrity endorsement is one of the best ways to market a brand. It works wonders when the actor has recently garnered massive fame from the audience. The higher the fame, the more will be influenced. For instance, Allu Arjun recently collaborated with KFC for one of the campaigns. You can see that the ad features Allu Arjun Opposite Colonel Sanders. Also, the best thing about this ad is, they have dubbed the same advertisement in different languages according to the audience. 

Incentives

Incentives are a great way to earn and retain customers. KFC too acknowledged the need. For instance, they offer free meals and add-ons to their recurring customers since they have spent a certain amount on buying KFC products. The customer can get the coupon which will be redeemed to get free meals. Also, they post free meal vouchers through newspapers where you can collect them to a certain limit. Then you can get to the store and grab a free meal. However, they offer discounts time-to-time on the occasion of festivals or special events.

Marketing Lessons from KFC

Here is what KFC’s marketing strategy teaches us:

1. Using multiple channels to communicate with customers – KFC is present on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. Try to engage with your audience on all the platforms because that will help you to keep your business going.

2. Partnerships are crucial – KFC knows that it doesn’t need an upper hand in plant-based foods. Therefore, instead of denying it to their customers, they partnered with companies that are experts at it. These acknowledgements help a brand to grow at a much faster pace.

3. Focusing on innovations – KFC had put greater emphasis on product innovation. It intentionally used regional flavours and ideas to create new menu dishes.

4. Using meme marketing – Today’s generation loves memes! They are young adults who like engaging content created humorously or sarcastically. They have embedded humour in their content.

5. Offering discounts at regular intervals – It is important to retain customers and also grab new ones. Therefore, you must offer timely discounts to get new customers and keep existing ones. 

The Evolution of KFC’s Business Strategy

Over the year KFC has used quite a several business strategies. Therefore, it enabled them to evolve from a one-man business to a multi-billion dollar business. One of the most important things that KFC valued was the knowledge and skill of every individual. For instance, the knowledge and expertise of Colonel Sanders in uniquely preparing chicken meals led to the success of KFC.

Another crucial factor of KFC’s business strategy is the way its products are packed and delivered. The complete package is different from any of their competitors. Therefore, they strike as a unique brand to their audience. Also, KFC came up with the pressure of fried chicken that set them apart from any other chicken restaurant. It also included a special blend of recipes and herbs. All of these made the chicken taste different from others.

Persistence is another aspect of KFC’s marketing strategy. There is no guarantee that a business will be successful right from the beginning. It might take some time for the sale to go up and sometimes there will be losses as well. Therefore, focusing on what works and what doesn’t ensures the success of a business in the long run. Colonel Sanders lost his business at the age of 65 and rebuilt it in ten years. This saw him opening a total of 600 franchises which earned him $3, 00,000 before tax.

Bringing professionals into a business is also a great expansion strategy. It helps a business to continue to build and grow. In 1964, KFC brought in professional managers to take over the business. This saw the business grow from a one-man business to a multi-billion dollar franchise. KFC’s marketing strategies led them to grow into international markets as well.

KFC Problems & Solutions

KFC sells up to 850 million chickens in a year. They do this in collaboration with other companies that slaughter and rear the chickens for them. However, KFC was accused of killing chickens inhumanely and subjecting them to torture. Also, they were accused of cramming the chickens into cages, thus, resulting in broken bones before they are slaughtered. Animal rights activists and organizations condemned these acts. This led to a problem for KFC.

Also, KFC has faced problems with health experts who claim that the oils used to make the chicken include Tran’s fats. Thus, it results in complicated health issues like obesity. Nutritionists and other health organizations threatened to sue KFC if the fat is not changed to make chicken products. Also, the company has faced protests in India where angry farmers are against the company bringing in “junk food” to a nation that suffers a lot from malnutrition. The farmers also fear that the increasing number of fast-food chain restaurants will deplete livestock and deteriorate agricultural activities.

Some Final Words

The KFC marketing strategy is strong and it actively uses social media to attract new customers, share promotions and eliminate customer issues. However, they have not fully used the potential of YouTube. Also, consumers want to explore a healthier diet at KFC and the humane treatment of the chickens is a major challenge they are facing today. There is no denying the fact that KFC is a highly successful company and KFC’s global marketing strategy has received a lot of excellence awards. The best thing is, they are always looking for ways to create good quality food and value for their customers. That’s what the global marketing strategy of KFC is all about. This is quite evident from the popularity, recognition and awards they received. 

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