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March 15th, 2018
KFC have, in their own words, had “a hell of a week”
by Myles Ritson

What can Marketers learn from KFC’s chicken crisis? Here are our KFC Top 3

1. Listen, then join in – it’s happening anyway. This is true 365 days/year, but particularly when something goes wrong. KFC did this well by judging the mood, owning and explaining the issue and apologising to customers (after only a short delay). Their social media team provided regular updates and answered customers’ questions. They set the story straight about whether employees were being paid, and which restaurants were open

2. Expect the unexpected. Whether it’s a power outage at the Super Bowl which Oreo responded to so brilliantly with their ‘dunk in the dark’ tweet, or a supply chain failure as KFC have experienced, brands need to be ready to respond in a joined-up way, real-time. It takes a huge amount of work and alignment behind the scenes to make this happen. Customer facing teams need to be empowered to react immediately, trained to react appropriately, and able to access the assets and resources they need.

3. Sound like yourself. The values and tone of voice from the brand positioning model should never be theoretical. They should guide everything the brand does, from recruitment to communications to customer service, even in times of crisis. KFC has demonstrated this superbly over the last week by responding to the issue in a way that’s creative but also consistent with their irreverent brand and their sense of humour. Their communications have shown that their teams truly ‘live the brand’ – from their tweets to the much-admired FCK full page print ad. Apparently the Colonel ‘swore like a sailor’ too!