Ronn Torossian considers the evolution of the Colonel
When Kentucky Fried Chicken was founded in a converted Shell gas station in 1930, there was no mistaking what it was all about; southern comfort food in the Kentucky heartland. But it wasn’t until the late 1950’s that The Colonel introduced his “finger lickin’ good” chicken in its signature bucket. At that moment, though, an iconic brand was born.
Families loved Kentucky Friend and the store franchised across the nation and, later, across the world. For decades, Kentucky Fried Chicken offered a simple menu that proved to be something different when compared to all the burger joints popping up across the country.
More than 80 years later, there is still no mistaking what it is all about. Good, family style comfort food…with a few healthier offerings. The idea is simple, give customers options, not misunderstandings. How did KFC get there, and what can it mean for your business?
Ronn Torossian has some re-branding tips you should consider.
#1 – Never lose yourself
If you want a bucket of extra crispy or original recipe, you can still go right on down to KFC and grab that bucket. It even has a picture of the Colonel on the side. It may not be “Kentucky Fried Chicken” anymore, but KFC did not sacrifice what their brand represented when they changed focus.
#2 – Expand without eliminating
KFC has tried a whole lot of different things over the years. The Double Decker, grilled and now, boneless, but it never changed the heart of its menu. You can still get fried chicken with mashed potatoes and gravy; lots of it if you are in the mood.
#3 – Don’t be a slave to trends
It might seem anachronistic to have a menu full of fried foods when so many other fast food joints are advertising more health conscious offerings, but KFC understands its customers. They don’t come in for salad, so why bother putting it on the menu? Put some more biscuits in the oven instead.
Sure they offer grilled chicken, but they KNOW you will be getting the wedges and mac ‘n cheese to go along with it. This commitment to what it remains “all about” has allowed KFC to rebrand and, instead of losing itself, it has become something even more than it had been before.
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