KFC on why advertising is rarely the answer for a troubled brand

KFC’s CMO Meghan Farren admits the fast-food giant lost its way a few years ago leading to a drop in sales, but rather than simply throwing money at advertising the brand dug deeper to get to the root of the problem.

KFC has come a long way over the past five years, from a brand being likened to a “fading old man” to a fast-food chain with fans so loyal they’ve made their own KFC-themed merchandise.

The brand’s UK CMO Meghan Farren admitted KFC had got into a rut back in 2016 and was beginning to lose relevance.

She returned from maternity leave to find KFC had racked up consecutive quarterly drops in sales during 2016. The brand was about to begin an advertising spree to try and reverse its fortunes but Farren said it first needed to take a step back and determine why it was failing to resonate with consumers.

Talking at the Festival of Marketing: The Bottom Line, she said advertising is rarely the answer for a troubled brand.

Instead KFC did rigorous research to get to the root of the problem and discovered consumers viewed the brand as a “man stuck in the past”, which she admitted was tough to hear.

Find out how Farren and her team resurrected the brand and made KFC the fast-food chain it is today.

The Festival of Marketing’s next virtual event takes place on 7 to 10 June. Fast Forward will provide tools, inspiration and insights that will help you get future fit. As a Marketing Week premium subscriber, use your exclusive code: FOMMW20 to claim a 20% discount. Find out more.



    Leave a comment