KFC China : still ‘‘Finger lickin good’’ ?
Implanted in 120 countries all over the world, KFC is a giant American fast-food chain that entered Chinese market in 1987 with a first outlet in Beijing, the brand is part of Yum’s Group. KFC brand positioning: an American fast food brand with Chinese characteristics, the US fried chicken expert, quality products, combining fast food values and Chinese traditional values Target: families, groups of friend, working people, urban people that face western brand every day KFC strategy in China: adaptation, staying local on many levels, keep close ties to the Chinese government, hires local management, sources food directly in China, add more items on the menu in order to suit Chinese taste and habits, larger dishes for sharing (it is part of the Chinese culture to eat in groups). Problem: December 2012: it was revealed that some of KFC chicken suppliers were using excessive antibiotics. Consequences:
→ government food safety agencies started to investigate the supply chain → it took 2 months to the brand to apologize to its customer, and the brand denied any responsibility → customers felt that KFC lied to them, tried to hide the truth from them, they realized that American famous brands does not mean the best quality, customers realized there was a gap between what the brand promise and the reality → competition increased (customers started to go to local Chinese restaurants), drop in the turnover, no trust anymore in KFC Solution: brand image rebuilding with a new campaign, ‘‘operation Thunder’’, objective = rebuild reputation and credibility in order to generate public trust again After the scandal, KFC is seeking for new attributes: tasty & safe, balanced nutrition, high quality, healthy living, constant innovation → new quality control measures (zero tolerance policy in food safety), KFC promise to only source from suppliers that directly managed their own chicken farm (objective: spread a new face of the brand that want to erase past’s mistakes, with a better social responsibility) → mini-site providing informations about safety issues / papers placemats, stickers & posters used in restaurants describing KFC’s supply chain (objective: inform the customer, show transparency) → new TV & Web commercials, with employee’s interviews explaining chicken’s growth process (objective: show more transparency) → involve customers (the company proposed to its customers to write a pome including the phrase ‘ ‘‘chickens are innocent’’ it shows to customers that KFC blame the farms that used excessive drugs) & more reactivity on social media platforms (answering customer’s requests and comments quickly) → new promotion : bucket meal with 50% reduction (objective: attract groups and families again), promote new beef menu (it shows KFC’s innovation, new tastes)