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The Chicken That Didn’t Cross The Road / KFC

“If your relationship was any more of a joke,

you’d be dating the chicken that crossed the road”.

Last week KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken), a major global food brand, ran out of chicken for a few days in hundreds of it’s UK stores in an unprecedented situation that still isn’t fully resolved.

The company had just changed it’s main distributor but it looks like their business continuity plans were not sufficiently thought through as their supply chain was compromised.

Over 600 KFC outlets found themselves with no chicken – not a great situation if your brand name and main products revolve around…. chicken!

KFC took out full pages ads to apologise for the mishap with the headline being a re-arrangement of their own name…. ‘FCK – We’re Sorry’

It will be interesting to see how this situation develops as I’m not sure it’s completely solved yet.

But for now the company seems to have minimised the damage to their brand, mostly because of how they’ve handled the crisis.

1. They apologised and added in some self-deprecation and humour. (The chicken crossed the road, just not to our restaurants…) 

2. They were quick and effective in their communication

As a result, the reaction from customers has been positive in the main.

But this only happens when there is trust in the relationship bank account and perhaps a benefit for KFC from this problem is a realisation of how much brand power they have.

A powerful analogy of any relationship is to see it like a bank account.

When you do something good or positive it’s like putting a deposit into the account. When you do something negative it’s a withdrawal.

But some actions are larger deposits or withdrawals than others.

When a significant crisis happens it’s a major withdrawal (Think the BP oil crisis).

When someone betrays you, it’s a major withdrawal.

If the relationship is to survive a major crisis, it really depends on how much trust/deposit there is already in the Relationship Bank Account.

Too often, people focus on what they can ‘get’ from others. They never think the same way about what they can ‘give’ into the relationship account.

Success in life and business is all about relationships. And regular deposits are needed to maintain a healthy relationship. If we don’t take care of the key accounts, we shouldn’t be surprised if we wake up one day to find the other person or company has walked away.

What state are your accounts in?

And what are you going to do about it?


ps – you can read the KFC apology ad here

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