KFC: Conquering cultures across borders…

Have you ever wondered who are we as consumers? …

Consumers are essentially actors in the market wherein they assume various roles ranging from information providers to payers and ultimately disposers.

The crucial role of consumers’ behavior in a market place has multitudinous implications starting right from the marketing strategy of the firm.

Consumer behavior at the heart of marketing strategy…

Consumer behavior can be defined as the underlying decision process and series of activities that consumers engage in during the process of evaluation, acquisition, utility as well as disposition of goods and services (Iacobucci, 2014). At the risk of oversimplification, consumer behavior can be explained as the study of consumers’ action in the market along with the rationale that influences those decisions.

The purchase process stemming from consumer behavior…

Consumer decision-making comprises an on-going interaction between environmental and behavioral factors that ranges from pre-purchase information, purchase  and post-purchase outcomes (Iacobucci, 2014).

Once the consumer realizes his needs, he undertakes an information search across external and internal sources of information regarding the brand, quality, alternatives available as well as product variations. Following collection of information, consumers narrow down their consideration set and may/ may not ultimately make the purchase. Lastly, following the purchase of a product, the consumer experiences post-purchase dissonance depending on the level of satisfaction attained following the purchase. It may range from sheer delight to dissatisfaction (Iacobucci, 2014).

What guides the buying process for a consumer? …

The buying process is influenced by horde of factors comprising internal and external factors. The internal factors range from sensation, perception, learning, motives and attitudes to lifestyle. The external factors comprise a reference group, family effects, social class, values as well as cultural differences (Haseeb, 2016).

KFC’s positive consumer influencing strategy across borders…

Consumer attitude towards a product or service is a fine indicator of the potential success of the business. When a consumer accepts or rejects a particular product or service, it is dependent on his/ her attitude. Here, in the case of KFC, the fast food giant targets the attitude of consumers with their Healthy Menu.

According to psychological researchers, there are three features of attitude that can be related to consumer purchasing behavior.

The first feature of attitude is an object, which can be interpreted as an entity having specific consumption. In this context, the object of KFC is its Healthy Menu.

The second feature is ‘learned predisposition’ which is an attitude that can be related to consumer purchasing behavior. This can be formed by direct experience with the product, word-of-mouth publicity and advertisement (TV commercials and print media). Through the advertisement, consumers can be motivated or indifferent towards the product.

Source: juc4b4l4, 2009

The third and final feature of attitude is consumer consumption ‘consistency’. In order to maintain consistency among consumers, KFC has fried chicken despite the consumers’ overall positive attitude towards the Healthy Menu to cater to those consumers who place primacy on taste over health (Haseeb, 2016).

KFC has not only positively influenced consumer behavior by addressing varied consumer attitudes but also targets external factors influencing consumer behavior as enlisted above.

Conquering cultures since 1952…

Culture refers to the way people live their life. It varies with every country.

People now-a-days tend to look at the quality of food. This is a change from their past behavior (Schiffman, 2000).

KFC alters its menu for your Country…

KFC’s core products are chicken and it creates brand standards for every market that it caters to.

Source: llaael, 2013

The China Chronicle…

KFC serves around 50 items as compared to 29 items in the United States to cater to the highly populous Republic of China in order to increase consumer traffic and encourage multiple visits. Menus offer spicy chicken, rice dishes, soy milk drinks, egg tarts, wraps with local sauces as well as fish and shrimp burgers on fresh buns. Particularly in China, spice levels are extremely important to customers.  Thus, the company changes its recipes to suit the regions. KFC also offers Congee, a popular rice porridge that is hard to make at home which is a KFC best-seller in the breakfast menu of China (Bell, 2011).

 

The Indian Tale…

                            (Image source: Malwani, 2014)

Chicken consumption in India is more common than beef. However, meals are typically carbohydrate-heavy with increased preference to a vegetarian diet. Furthermore, the chicken that is eaten is traditionally prepared in the form of Tandoori. In order to engage more consumers, KFC has decided to add spicier versions of their chicken which includes a fiery grill flavor mimicking the red hue as well as hot spice of traditional tandoori and curry chicken modeled after the highly popular local curries. In addition, to capture the widely prevalent vegan market, KFC also added plenty of vegetarian items. Therefore, KFC serves fried vegetable strips and burger patties made of either potato or vegetables to meet the needs of vegeterian consumers (Friend, 2013).

The success of KFC from Kentucky across borders has been achieved by localization of products across regional markets. This indicates that consumer behavior plays an essential role as consumer holds the ultimate power. Therefore, as long as any organization is able to decode the behavior of consumers, success is just a matter of time.

 

References

Bell, D. and Shelman, M. (2011). KFC’s Radical Approach to China. [online] Harvard Business Review. Available at: https://hbr.org/2011/11/kfcs-radical-approach-to-china [Accessed 1 Aug. 2016].

Buyer Behaviour KFC. (2013). Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2xLcGJWeDrE [Accessed 1 Aug. 2016].

Drewery, H. (2014). West Meets East: KFC and Its Success in China – Armstrong Undergraduate Journal of History. [online] Archive.armstrong.edu. Available at: http://archive.armstrong.edu/Initiatives/history_journal/history_journal_west_meets_east_kfc_and_its_success_in_china [Accessed 1 Aug. 2016].

 FRIEND, E. (2013). Third-Ranked KFC is Winning the Fast Food Battle in India – For Now. [Blog] euromonitor. Available at: http://blog.euromonitor.com/2013/12/third-ranked-kfc-is-winning-the-fast-food-battle-in-india-for-now.html [Accessed 1 Aug. 2016].

Haseeb, (2016). Haseeb | Marketing Dawn. [online] Marketingdawn.com. Available at: http://marketingdawn.com/author/haseeb/ [Accessed 1 Aug. 2016].

Iacobucci, D. (2014). Marketing Management. 4th ed. South-Western, Ch 2 & Ch 14.

juc4b4l4, (2009). KFC Ad – Australia. Available at: https://youtu.be/Ib3ZLJU8A8E [Accessed 1 Aug. 2016].

Schiffman, G. and Kanuk, L. (2000). REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE. 7th ed. [ebook] Prentice Hall International, pp.6 – 18. Available at: http://digi.library.tu.ac.th/thesis/lg/0459/06CHAPTER_TWO.pdf [Accessed 1 Aug. 2016].

 

Submitted by:

Sabrina Advani (User name: advanisabrina)

Deakin ID: 215224798

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