After 10 years of steady growth, KFC UK experienced sales slumps in 2013. Since then, the fast food giant is looking to rebrand its image by connecting to its consumers through the use of emotional appeals in their new campaigns. The campaigns will also incorporate digital strategies. KFC believes that it needs to rebrand in order to repair its relationships with its consumers.

 

The drastic change in KFC’s communications strategy comes after research insights convinced the company that people make decisions based on their emotions. To celebrate the company’s 50th anniversary, KFC produced an emotional commercial titled “Families” that focuses on how KFC has been bringing families together for generations. On the digital side, the fast food chain introduced “Click and Collect,” a payment platform that allows customers to pay for their food on their devices.

 

 

Best known for its chicken, KFC also created a four-part documentary featuring the inner workings of KFC, including how the food is made and how the company disposes of waste. The documentary wasn’t well received and was heavily ridiculed on social media.  The organization’s attempt to appear transparent while connecting with millennials failed. Many din’t trust the documentary and assumed the company was only “putting on a show” for the cameras. McDonalds has faced the same criticism for similar campaigns.

 

An important lesson that brands should learn from KFC is that their decision to switch to emotional appeal in their communications messages is based on solid research. Emotional campaigns are trending, but they might not be appropriate for every brand. It’s important for organizations to understand their target audience’s buying habits so they can tailor their promotional messages.

 

KFC is taking steps in the right direction to gain back customer loyalty and improve sales. Will this be enough to create a turnaround for the brand? Perhaps they should consider offering healthier menu options, including a healthier version of their signature fried chicken. Time will tell just how effective this change in advertising will be.

 

Do you think connecting with consumers on an emotional level is enough to boost sales? Tell us in the comments section or tweet me @mo_yeen.