Kfc History and Communication

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  • Topic: KFC, Fast food, Fried chicken
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Final Communications Plan
Prepared for: Kentucky Fried Chicken
Prepared by: Meaghan Jordan
Date:13 May 2010
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CCT 667: Contemporary Corporate Communications
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Professor A. Hoffman

I. Executive Summary

As outside council to Kentucky Fried Chicken, a Yum! Brands company, I was asked to consult on the branding crisis plaguing the popular fast food chains in the United States market. The public identity of Kentucky Fried Chicken has been on shaky ground for the past five years. The inconsistent branding and products have caused market share values and annual revenues to consistently decrease. The primary constituent, the consuming public, has been left to decipher the mixed messages presented by the Kentucky Fried Chicken brand. Through the implementation of a three-phase strategy, Kentucky Fried Chicken will be able to reestablish itself as a profitable leader in the fast food chicken industry. The design of a logo and company name, in conjunction with a healthy menu that properly embodies the meaning of the brand will be the key to a clear identity. The final piece of the equation requires a comprehensive, nationwide advertising plan to re-launch the contemporary and comprehensible identity of the Kentucky Fried Chicken brand.

II. The Company

The American fast food chain Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) was a family run business, founded in 1930 by Harland Sanders in Corbin, Kentucky. The Sanders Court and Café featured Southern comfort foods, specifically the widely enjoyed fried chicken. Sanders began franchising his secret recipe throughout the 1950’s and 1960’s. Following the sale of Sander’s interest in his company to a group of investors in 1964, Kentucky Fried Chicken was taken public, as well as being listed on the New York Stock Exchange in 1969. Kentucky Fried Chicken has been owned by a number of companies and their subsidiaries since 1982, these include RJR Nabisco, and PepsiCo. The PepsiCo brand expanded their restaurant interests, including KFC, to form Tricon Global Restaurants, which in 2002 became Yum! Brands. Yum! Brands own KFC, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, Long John Silvers and A&W All-American Foods. As the largest, global restaurant company, Yum! Brands is ranked #239 on the Fortune 500 List, generating revenues of approximately $11 billion in 2009. Roger Eaton, the President of KFC and Laurance Roberts, the Chief Operating Officer of KFC, oversees the daily activities of the KFC Corporation, based in Louisville, Kentucky. The Chief Executive Officer and President of Yum! Brands, David C. Novak, manage the overall direction of the KFC Corporation and the other food chains owned by the company. The Yum! Brands are responsible for 5,200 restaurants in the United States, as well as locations in 109 countries and territories. The parent company of these popular fast food chains operates on the basis of four fundamental beliefs. The foundation of business at Yum! Brands are to: “Build leading brands across China in every significant category. Drive aggressive international expansion and build strong brands everywhere. Dramatically improve U.S. brand positions, consistency and returns. Drive industry leading, long-term shareholder and franchise value.” A combination of corporate leadership and the positive reputation of KFC have maintained the number one spot in the fast food chicken market for the last 57 years.

III. The Issue

The 57 year old fast food chain Kentucky Fried Chicken, known for its Southern home cooking, specifically the 11 herb and spice flavored fried chicken, is close to seeing its leading position in the market niche it built fall to the wayside. In the last five years KFC has seen a decline in its markets shares, dropping “…6 full points since 2005 to 30% in 2009, while the category grew from $14.5 billion to $16.1...
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