How KFC accelerated revenue growth to more than £1bn

From stuck in a rut in 2017 to attracting 15 million new customers by 2021, KFC invested in a long-term brand platform designed to engage and excite the entire business from the CEO to franchisees.

KFCIn 2017, KFC was stuck in a rut. As consumers sought out healthier food options, the likes of Pret A Manger and Leon were damaging the chain’s quality credentials. Meanwhile, old rival McDonald’s saw its quality metrics surge to an all-time high.

With market share trending downwards, declining penetration and no improvement across brand perception scores for five years, KFC had an image problem.

Working with long-term agency Mother London, the fast-food chain needed to reinforce its ‘fast good’ credentials. Cue ‘The Right Way’, a strategic platform promoting what KFC was doing well, while also making the brand appear cooler, more youthful and energetic.

The new strategy was presented to every department in the business, alongside franchisees and restaurant managers. The marketers held regular discussions with franchisees at monthly ‘Ad board’ meetings to sell in the strategy and campaign work directly, even consulting them on the briefs. Annual company conferences were reframed as festivals, bringing to life hero campaigns to get the whole business excited.

The Right Way gave the team a cohesive approach to its communications, helping the marketers navigate challenges with characteristic humour, from 2018’s infamous chicken shortage to KFC’s response to lockdown.

In the space of five years KFC hit more than £1bn in revenue and grew market share by 38%. The fast-food chain improved quality perceptions (up 6.2 points), value (up 7.3 points) and the brand overall (up 8.7 points), attracting 15 million new customers. These results ensured KFC scooped the Marketing Week Award for Long Term Brand Building Excellence.



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