THE PROBLEM: How do you convince consumers to try a “healthier” tastey chicken sandwich instead of buying “fast food?” SOLUTION: Cause a spectacle
Chick-fil-A’s signature product is the chicken sandwich, served primarily during the lunchtime daypart. This means the restaurant chain competes on one of the fiercest battlegrounds – the fast food restaurant market. When compared to giants such as McDonald’s, Burger King and Wendy’s, Chick-filA is outnumbered in store count nearly 4 to 1 and outspent in media tenfold. Moreover, each of these chains has already etched distinct images in the minds of consumers. The vast majority of fast food outlets sell hamburgers as their primary food product, and usually resort to price promotions and movie tie-ins to attract customers. This competition has had a profound effect on business. Industry-wide flat pricing and rapid store growth have held average sales increases to under 2% a store for several years running. In contrast, Chick-fil-A’s attraction is not price or convenience, but the taste of their chicken sandwiches – a “healthier” alternative to hamburgers. In test research surveys, consumers spoke quite favorably about the chain’s product during aided brand awareness. Faced with these “David vs. Goliath” odds, Chick-fil-A gave its advertising agency, The Richards Group, a tough assignment – develop an integrated advertising and marketing campaign that clearly positions Chick-fil-A as a preferred alternative in the burger-dominated fast food marketplace.
Without increasing its budget, Chick-fil-A wanted its marketing effort to: • Achieve a sales increase per store double that of the industry standard • Increase total ad awareness by 10 percentage points • Increase the loyal customer base from 23% to 30% • Generate 5,000,000 impressions and $300,000 worth of free publicity
The Chick-fil-A target audience differs from the usual fast food clientele, which...