KFC Named College Students’ Favorite Chain Restaurant Brand in China

Jan 5, 2016

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

During the 2015 College Students’ Favorite Brands selection organized by China Business Journal, KFC was named College Students’ Favorite Chain Restaurant Brand. This result offers a useful insight into the consumption patterns and mentality of China’s young generation.

This recognition comes as a result of the wide range of new measures adopted by KFC. KFC has always dedicated itself to developing new products. The new spring menu of 2015 included pulled pork burger, half-chicken and half-shrimp burger, KFC iced tea, and other delicious items. It was soon followed by the introduction of a substantial burger featuring black or pink buns, fully meeting young people’s psychological need for new experience.

In terms of marketing, KFC leverages multiple media formats favored by young consumers, such as Weibo, WeChat and brand App, for varied, fun communication. From time to time, it also launches various interactive activities, such as panini pre-release tasting and the 520 “show love and get 2 ice cream cones” giveaway, both entertaining ways of delivering real surprise and value to young consumers.

Moreover, digital services offered at KFC restaurants have all been embraced by the public. In July, KFC worked with Alipay to support mobile payment through QR scanning, thus providing young people with more convenient and trendier mobile payment experience. In September, there were a crossover collaboration between KFC and League-Legends. LoL meals were launched and a number of KFC restaurants were decked out in the LoL theme, attracting an unprecedented number of students. The meals were sold out within eight short days, setting a sales record. It is reported that over 2200 KFC restaurants across the country now offering free wifi; KFC is also the first chain restaurant to offer a mobile payment card. Electronic menu and self-ordering service are also being piloted.

On top of its efforts in products and services, KFC has always been committed to supporting impoverished college students. KFC’s First Light Foundation, which is more than a decade old, is the largest and longest-running foundation supporting impoverished college students and offers the highest amount sponsorship per project, an initiative of the China Youth Development Foundation. This foundation has also served to strengthen the emotional bond between the brand and college students.

In the era of digital technology for all, whoever wins over young people wins the competition. Thanks to its delicious food, fast service and convenience that is readily accessible everywhere, KFC has moved very close to the heart of young people, and its dazzling array of innovative experience has brought it even closer to that particular age group. As the ways in which consumers access products and services continue to evolve, how to truly understand young people’s lifestyle choices, and to provide the consumers with richer and more interesting and surprise experience are critical issues that every brand should seriously explore in order to stay relevant in the future.