Photo: ferret111, Flickr
KFC might have a hit on its hands with the Double Down sandwich, but it hasn't been enough to pull its U.S. stores out of a financial slump. One of the big reasons? The chicken chain is fighting to come up with a consistent brand message that resonates with consumers. After coming up with five ad campaigns in recent years, they're jumping from the phrase "Unthink" (which never really made sense) to the bland-but-understandable "So Good." Yep, this is the kind of thing corporations spend millions of dollars and countless hours coming up with.
"We've been very impatient," Javier Benito, KFC's exec VP of marketing and food innovation, told Advertising Age. "When you look at brands that have been with the same taglines for many years, they do well because they're consistent."
KFC's same-store sales fell 4% in the U.S. during 2009. (The chain has gangbuster numbers in Asia, however.) KFC still leads the chicken category, but rival Chick-fil-A is closing the gap, largely because they're doing a better job communicating with their customers. The Double Down aside, many people aren't familiar with KFC's lineup of sandwiches or its value menu items.
The new slogan might be a step in the right direction, but if comments from company management are any indication, there's still a lot of confusion at the top. When explaining the target market for their chicken, Benito told Ad Age that KFC is reaching out to "socially connected people who are trans-generational." Ugh. With corporate double-speak like that, it's no wonder the company's message gets lost in translation.