The Chick-fil-A brand, truly different and better
Tom Dougherty, CEO – Stealing Share
28 March 2017
Chick-fil-A even understands the value of scarcity
One of the most powerful brands in fast food isn’t McDonalds. In fact, Chick-fil-A is the opposite of Micky D’s. It positions itself against that market leader.
Which makes it rather surprising that we haven’t written much on the fast food chain. Especially when everything about the company fosters so much strategy and we’ve written about all its competitors.
The Chic-Fil-A billboards are some of the most brilliant to grace the side of the roads. Each is simple yet evocative. Normally, they consist of a cow painting messages as to why you should be eating chicken. Nothing long winded. Simple and direct. Just what a billboard should be.
“Chick-fil-A positions itself a family joint, while the rest either promote fun (McDonald’s, Taco Bell and its “Live Mas,” and just about everyone else, really), an ever-evolving menu (Burger King) or big eats (Arby’s).”
The few times I’ve ventured through the drive thru I’ve been assisted and served by friendly workers who genuinely seem pleased to be working at a fast food joint. That is unfathomable.
Inside, it’s much the same. Establishments are clean with a host of workers offering to bring food to your table, take your tray and ask how you and the kids are doing. Again, unusual.
One visit with my granddaughter coincided with father-daughter night (and the entire place was full). Another time, family night was happening. And the place was electric.
Every evening on the way home from work, I pass a Chic-fil-A’s. I can say this, I haven’t seen any other fast food chain with a working crossing guard outside as to assist with automotive traffic coming to eat.
The Chick-fil-A brand works because it’s scarce and not like the others
The customers of Chic-fil-A eat there because the brand is positioned against the competition. We’ve worked with fast food brands. And I can tell you that most of them are all lumped in together. Most of them just copy McDonalds. (Burger King is the greatest repeat offender.) Only Hardee’s (or Carl’s Jr for those in the West) has a brand that is unique in the industry other than Chick-fil-A.
Chick-fil-A positions itself a family joint, while the rest either promote fun (McDonald’s, Taco Bell and its “Live Mas,” and just about everyone else, really), an ever-evolving menu (Burger King) or big eats (Arby’s).
Even being closed on Sunday fits the Chick-fil-A brand, but not just for the reason you might think. While it does speak to the perception of old-time values, it also gives the brand a scarcity the others lack. Scarcity is a value because the more scarce something is, the more valuable it is.
Think about diamonds. The only reason they are so valuable is that they are scarce. The reason Krispy Kreme battles preference is because it expanded too quickly. It’s the opposite of scarce.
The cows of Chick-fil-A aren’t going anywhere. Because it offers a different, emotional choice.
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