Popeyes chicken sandwich
Tom Dougherty, CEO – Stealing Share
11 September 2019
Love that chicken (sandwich) from Popeyes
They’ve caused fights, rapper Quavo tried selling them for $1,000 apiece and Popeyes sold twice as many chicken sandwiches per day than it estimated. Most locations completely ran out of them.
There are a lot of chicken sandwiches out there. McDonalds offers a couple. Wendy’s sports a spicy one and the “original” one from Chick-fil-A is a coveted sandwich, just to name a few.
But the Popeyes chicken sandwich is different. It’s spurring people to wait in crazy long lines for a chicken sandwich. Often finding that there’s none left. (I know. I checked out a local Popeyes and was told it’d be two weeks before more arrived.)
Chick-fil-A is no stranger to lines of people waiting for food. But the lines at Popeyes go around the block at some locations. A customer even pulled a gun on a store manager when told that there were no more sandwiches.
There was even a social media battle between fast food companies that even social media savvy Wendy’s couldn’t even win. With each post, the likes from Popeyes dwarfs them all.
How addictive are these things?
“Since Popeyes fails in connecting the brand to the sandwich the first time around, it would be wise to build a branded story around it the next time around. Define the Louisiana way as not serving food until it’s perfect. Or being from the South, good things take time.”
Popeyes chicken sandwich represents a unique brand opportunity
But the problem for Popeyes is that the success of its chicken sandwich is not a result of the Popeyes brand. It’s the result of a superior product and the value of scarcity. We all want what we can’t have, which is why the McDonald’s McRib is so coveted. (Even though it takes like mystery meat.)
Popeyes is being very coy about when exactly the sandwich will be back. I have no doubt stores are begging and pleading corporate to get the sandwiches back as soon as possible. But I think that is a mistake. The fast food chain shouldn’t rush to bring them back. It should reinforce its supply chain, then ramp up the excitement of the return of the Popeyes chicken sandwich.
Since Popeyes fails in connecting the brand to the sandwich the first time around, it would be wise to build a branded story around it the next time around. Define the Louisiana way as not serving food until it’s perfect. Or being from the South, good things take time.
Like a good novel in which the rising action slowly and methodically builds, so too should the chicken sandwich 2.0 story crescendo. Make it about the Popeyes brand and not about the chicken sandwich.
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