Tuesday, 12 January 2010

KFC = Kan’t forget the customer?

KFC – I never eat it, haven’t been for over 10 years. But I do know what they are about. It’s clear, it’s in your face, it’s junk food in a bargain bucket. It tastes good and they don’t care. I love it.

I am already tired of all the TV programs, magazine articles and gym membership leaflets coming through the door. Just as silly season has ended, the mad diet season begins. We must be healthy, we must purge our Christmas sins, we must avoid sugar and fat and run around the park.

But one TV ad caught my eye. It followed the new DVD from the latest newly size 8 celeb, and it was for Kentucky Fried Chicken, or as it is now known KFC.

Chicken, fries, bakes beans, creamy coleslaw and wait for it, full fat coke for a special price. Why cook mum when you can give them what they want?

There must be about 5000 calories in one of those meals. OK I exaggerate, but not much. But KFC don’t care, they know that when people want junk food, that is what they want.

I have to admire this brand for sticking to their principles. While MacDonalds was promoting salads, and Pizza Hut was re-branding to a healthier Pasta Hut, KFC never once waivered from their proposition. Chicken junk food, Finger lickin good. And who can forget the Colonel, an integral part of the KFC brand identity since forever. You have got to hand it to them, they never bowed under the pressure, they just give the customers what they want.

However, new owner group Yum! have in my opinion, entirely missed the point by trialling grilled chicken in the US. What’s more they have reportedly spend over ¼ billion dollars pushing it, offering a free piece to every customer.

The franchisees in the US, who are clearly more in touch with their customers than their parent company, disagree so strongly that they are suing their own company. They believe the brand is losing its focus.

You might not agree with junk food advertising and like me, you may believe that UK has a very serious obesity issue but these fast food places are not the issue, we are, as a society. You also have to admit that the marketing team in charge of KFC have had the (chicken) balls to stick to the brand values thus far and I think they should be allowed to continue.

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