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KFC…WTF?

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I enjoyed a quick lunch today at the local KFC, which I hadn’t been to in a few months.  When I walked in, I noticed the interior had been remodeled and had a fun new design including bright colors, digital display boards and even bar-style seating…pretty sweet!

I placed my order, just a simple Snacker Pack, but in classic Ashley style, I couldn’t order it straight up and decided to ask for a buffalo chicken snacker, which is usually an option on the menu.  The response I got was “we don’t flavor our food anymore”.  Say what?!

As marketing experts, we spend hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars to craft the perfect setting for your dining experience, as well as the message to drive you through the door, and menu and beverage teams spend hours going through dozens of recipes to find the perfect combination of flavor.

On the operational level, especially for a chain with as many units as KFC, it is difficult to prepare the staff for every question they might encounter.  But for a brand that prides itself on its world-famous 11 herbs and spices, to tell a customer that they no longer flavor their food, seems like quite the marketing nightmare, as I’m surely not the only one to notice the absence of buffalo chicken.

Today was a reminder that everything that goes in to a campaign is only a piece of the puzzle.  There are some things that are beyond our control, like the words of an employee or even the closure of a bridge.

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