KFC: New Scent Lookin’ Good?

Colonel Sanders goes global with finger lickin' good marketing and a side of barbeque perfume.

McDonalds and Burger King get a lot attention due to their tongue-in-cheek and audacious marketing campaigns.

On today’s Morning Rush though, we’re talking about KFC.

A competitor to its contemporaries, not just in the form of fast food, but marketing too.

KFC’s rise from a roadside restaurant in Kentucky to a global fast-food phenomenon is a story fueled by a secret recipe and innovative marketing strategies.

Founded in the 1930s by Colonel Harland Sanders, KFC has grown into a behemoth, serving over a billion chicken meals annually across more than 25,000 locations in 145 countries.

Let's delve deeper into the ingredients that have made their marketing strategy so successful.

The Colonel: A Timeless Mascot with a Modern Twist

Colonel Harland Sanders is more than just a friendly face – he's a marketing masterstroke. He embodies Southern hospitality and the brand's core promise of delicious fried chicken. This sense of familiarity and comfort resonates across cultures. But KFC doesn't let the Colonel become a relic of the past. They actively embrace social media and influencer marketing.

Imagine Colonel Sanders impersonators engaging in hilarious skits on TikTok or participating in spicy chicken challenges on YouTube – that's KFC keeping the Colonel relevant for a younger generation.

Their campaigns often feature humor, local cultural references, and interactive elements, fostering a sense of community around the brand. For instance, in Japan, they launched a limited-edition "Colonel Sanders Bento" featuring popular Japanese flavors and side dishes.

Hits and Misses: A Taste of KFC's Marketing Journey

KFC has scored major victories with campaigns like "It's Finger Lickin' Good." This iconic slogan, introduced in the 1950s, remains instantly recognizable and effectively captures the essence of the KFC experience.

Their celebrity collaborations and sponsorships in various countries have also proven successful. For example, KFC frequently utilizes Colonel Sanders impersonators in their advertising, including for national campaigns in the US. These impersonators often appear in commercials, social media content, and promotional events, leveraging the Colonel's iconic image to promote the brand.

However, not all their attempts have been met with cheers. Some marketing campaigns faced cultural sensitivities or missed the mark with their target audience.

For example, when the chain went on to be the first western fast food company to open in Beijing, 30 years later, whoever translated its tagline landed on ’Eat your fingers off.’

Not the most appetising way to sell food, to be honest.

KFC Launches a Perfume? The Colonel's New Fragrance

KFC isn't afraid to take risks though.

Their recent limited-edition barbeque-scented perfume is a prime example.

While some may scoff, it generated significant buzz and media attention, the first batch of the perfume is already sold out, so that says a lot.

It's a calculated gamble that might pave the way for new and unexpected brand extensions in the future.

Fast Food and Influencers: A Match Made in Marketing Heaven?

Influencer marketing has become a powerful tool for fast-food brands like KFC. Partnering with popular social media personalities allows them to reach a wider audience, particularly younger demographics.

These collaborations often involve product placements, challenges, and user-generated content, creating a sense of authenticity and engagement.

However, navigating influencer marketing requires careful selection and strategy.

Choosing the right influencers who resonate with the brand's target audience and values is crucial for successful campaigns.

We discuss more about this in the next episode of Influencer Matchmaking, so do subscribe to us on Youtube, if you haven’t already.

We’ll see you next Tuesday!

Join the conversation

or to participate.