Case Study March 24

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Case-KFCandtheshortageofchicken.docx

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In this final case sudy, our focus will be in development of an effective crisis plan. Again, you can use the hyperlink provided in the reading to prepare your response on how well KFC responded to (or handled) this crisis.

KFC and the shortage of chicken

What Happened

In February 2018, KFC had to close more than half of its 900 stores in the United Kingdom because of a shortage of…chicken.

The social and mainstream media enjoyed the irony of a chicken shop without any chicken and went to town on the story.

The cause was a delivery problem after the chain switched its contract to DHL which said that due to ‘administrative problems’ a number of deliveries were cancelled or delayed.

Loyal customers vented on Twitter and took their families to McDonalds. Some even complained to their local politicians.

Then KFC, even while struggling to get the restaurants re-opened, managed to switch the narrative entirely.

It ran an apology advertisement that was extremely funny (especially to the brand’s core younger consumers) while taking ownership of the problem.

The company was widely applauded by customers and the media for its deft handling of the situation and became the poster child for how well to handle a crisis.

What We Learned

Among the key elements in a best-in-class  crisis response plan  are:

·       An understanding of the brand’s key stakeholder, particularly the core consumers. Who are they? Where are they? What are there key considerations? What’s likely to be on their minds when the brand is facing challenges.

·       An understanding of the brand’s promise and ‘voice’. How is it positioned? What’s likely to support or break the trust in the brand in how it responds to a crisis.

KFC’s clever, authentic and borderline obscene response showed it deeply understood both these factors.

It knew its audience (young, hip and irreverent) and it followed through in exactly the kind of tone and language that was consistent with how the brand was positioned in other, more positive marketing.

The result was a swift abatement of the criticism for the closed stores – and the sound of widespread applause for a model crisis response.

Instructions: Using the two readings from weeks 1 and 2, and the information in the "crisis preparedness plans" reading (located in the hyperlink above), write a double-space two page paper (size 12 font) to evaluate KFC's response to this crisis. Would you have done anything differently. Explain.

You can use other sources as well, and be sure to cite your sources using APA formatting.

 

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