Project Two – A new direction for KFC?1
This individual project assignment is worth 15% of your total grade for this course. This assignment is to be completed individually and independently. No student collaboration is allowed.2 Consultation with UMUC Writing Tutoring or the UMUC Effective Writing Center is allowed.
This assignment will require approximately two weeks to complete. The due date for this assignment is Week 8, 11:59pm Sunday. The Departmental Late policy for late submissions is found in the Grading Information area of your syllabus.
The rubric including all grading criteria is found within this assignment. Be sure to review the rubric before, during, and after your project to ensure you address all criteria.
After successfully completing this assignment, you should be more confident in your ability to understand how marketers make decisions. You also should be able to appreciate the marketing process in terms of its relationship to the overall strategy of the organization.
Your marketing firm, MRKT600, has been approached by a new client, KFC, the restaurant chain also known as Kentucky Fried Chicken.
Recently while two of its closest competitors have been feuding on social media, KFC initially seemed sidelined in the so-called chicken sandwich wars (Yaffe-Bellany & Sedacca, 2019).
In August 2019, Popeyes introduced a new chicken sandwich product with a tweet. That tweet almost immediately received more than 35,000 likes, retweets and comments (Heisler, 2019). Within a week Chick-fil-A responded to Popeyes tweet with something similar about its own chicken sandwich product, and the fight was on. Other competitors tried to get in on the action, but this was a two-bird fight between Popeyes and Chick-fil-A (Heisler, 2019). In a marketing coup, Popeyes claimed to have sold out of the menu item completely within a month (Maynard, 2019).
However, KFC had a surprise of its own. Also in August 2019, KFC debuted a new menu item – meatless chicken nuggets and wings – at one Atlanta outlet; inventory of the meatless product sold out within five hours (Maze, 2019). KFC became the first major U.S. restaurant to test the meatless chicken concept (KFC becomes first, 2019).
For KFC this is larger than just diverting attention from the chicken sandwich wars. KFC had been falling further behind its faster-growing rivals in terms of sales and growth. For example, as of 2017 KFC had its name on twice as many restaurants as Chick-fil-A, yet those KFC outlets generated only half the amount of annual sales as Chick-fil-A (QSR, 2018).
On the heels of its recent success with meatless chicken, KFC engages your marketing firm to validate a possible new direction. KFC is considering a change in marketing strategy to compete against the “healthy fast food” restaurants, and attract a new customer to KFC. To do that, KFC needs a serious understanding of where KFC fits in the “new quick serve world” and what the “new” customer wants.
Here are the questions posed to your firm by KFC:
· Is KFC only competing against Popeyes and Chick-fil-A? Or is KFC already competing against different players in the fast serve dining space?
· Is there a new (e.g., health-conscious) customer KFC could attract or would meatless offerings simply promote product switching behavior among existing KFC customers?
· Would it be profitable for KFC to develop/offer healthier products and market itself differently?
You have been asked to research and prepare part of the report that would be ready for the first follow-up meeting with KFC. This assignment requires a minimum of 7 recent (none prior to year 2015) quality sources. The best sources for this assignment will be trade publications and journals for the industry4.
This is a professional memorandum that you would submit in a marketing setting. Communicate your results in a Word® document as a professional memorandum. Address this memo to your boss, the VP of Client Development; give that person any fictional name you wish.
Include these required sections in your memorandum.
I. KFC Company Background [1 page or less ]
Describe briefly the company in terms of the assets (number of company owned and franchised restaurants), sales/revenue data, number of employees and other macro facts of interest. Stick to the facts here; do not include any opinions in this section. Do give a robust analytical description. Are sales up or down? Over what period of time? Hint: make this section current rather than a historic view of the company.
KFC is aware of its origin story – don’t include that.
II. Situation Analysis [~5-8 pages]
a. Marketing strategy. Discuss current marketing strategy. What is working and what is not. Discuss changes the client is considering. How might those changes impact marketing strategy?
b. Products, pricing & distribution. Discuss categories of KFC offerings and any pricing issues. How is product delivered to the customer? Sit-down restaurant? Full-service? Quick service? Drive-thru? Web ordering? App? Include any available new product info.
c. Customer. Who is currently the KFC core customer? Who is likely to be the customer for a healthier product such as meatless offerings?
d. Value Proposition. Discuss this from the core customer’s point of view. What features/benefits of KFC are important to the customer? Then, discuss from the potential new customer’s point of view.
e. Competitors – define & discuss KFC competitors
f. SWOT analysis or Perceptual Map – SWOT of KFC or Perceptual map of competitors identified above
g. Business Climate – what is going on in the business world that
potentially affects KFC’s proposed marketing strategy?
h. Critical issues. Discuss issues the client has raised and also any new issues from your independent research.
III. Insights & Conclusion [1 page] – what was learned from this work? Should KFC pursue the new marketing strategy?
IV. Reference list (must be in APA format)
It’s time to begin your research. These resources should be helpful as a start.
· Maynard, M. (2019, August 28). Popeyes chicken sandwich, now a sell-out, is a $65million marketing win. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/michelinemaynard/2019/08/28/the- popeyes-chicken-sandwich-now-sold-out-is-a-65-million-marketing- win/#7355607379d6
· KFC becomes first national QSR to test plant-based chicken in U.S. (2019, August 29). Retrieved from https://csnews.com/kfc-becomes-first-national- qsr-test-plant-based-chicken-us
· Maze, J. (2019, August 27). Atlanta KFC sells out of Beyond fried chicken in five hours. Retrieved from https://www.restaurantbusinessonline.com/marketing/atlanta-kfc-sold- out-beyond-fried-chicken-five-hours
· Research guide for marketing (n.d). Retrieved from https://libguides.umuc.edu/marketing
· SWOT analysis research (n.d.). Retrieved
· The QSR 50 (2018). Retrieved from https://www.qsrmagazine.com/content/qsr50-2018-top-50-chart
· Yaffe-Bellany, D. & Sedacca, M. (2019, August 29). 15 minutes to mayhem: How a tweet led to a shortage at Popeyes. Retrieved from
In marketing, clear communication matters! Therefore 20% of the grade is devoted to writing and format. UMUC provides resources for students who wish to obtain assistance with writing. Any student in this class may register for Writing Tutoring through the link in the classroom. Simply click on the link and register. There is no charge for the writing tutoring service and it is available for the duration of the course. See Course Resources > Writing Tutor Registration for details.
A professional memorandum or memo generally follows a standard format.
· These are the parts of a typical professional memo: https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/subject_specific_writing/professional_technical
· Here is a sample professional memo: https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/subject_specific_writing/professional_technical
The APA reference list video (<10 min) is about formatting the reference list. It also looks at several different types of references – all from online sources – and how to cite those in APA format.
|Qualities & Criteria||Excellent 90-100%||Good – Very Good 80-89%||Improvement Needed 70-79.99%||Unsatisfactory Below 70%|
|Fo C||Content – Possible points: 80|
Insights & Conclusion
|Highly appropriate company description. Robust and analytical
Conclusion contains original insights highly appropriate to situation presented in the
|Appropriate company description. Contains all required information.
Conclusion contains original insights appropriate to situation in
|Description of company unclear or confusing.
Conclusion does not contain insights or is not appropriate to situation presented in scenario.
|Company description missing or missing information.
Conclusion is missing or missing required information.
|20 – 18||17.99 – 16||15.99 – 14||Under 14|
|Situation Analysis (Marketing strategy; products, price, distribution; value proposition; competitors; SWOT or perceptual map; business climate; critical issues)
Application of Critical Thinking
Application of Analytic Skill
|Includes highly appropriate discussion of current and possible marketing strategies; excellent review of products in terms of pricing, distribution; outstanding value proposition statement; highly appropriate understanding of competitors; insightful SWOT or perceptual map; excellent understanding of business climate and critical issues.
Strong evidence of critical thinking in situation analysis.
Strong evidence of analytical skill in applying tools to facts from scenario and independent research.
|Includes appropriate discussion of current and possible marketing strategies. Review of products in terms of pricing, distribution; value proposition statement; appropriate understanding of competitors; SWOT or perceptual map appropriate but may need more information or support. Good/very good understanding of business climate and critical issues.
Some evidence of critical thinking in situation analysis
Some evidence of analytical skill in applying tools to facts from scenario and independent research.
|Discussion of current and possible marketing strategies may lack clarity.
Review of products in terms of pricing, distribution; value proposition statement; appropriate understanding of competitors; SWOT or perceptual map appropriate may lack clarity.
Business climate and critical issues may lack clarity or be missing important information.
Lower level evidence of critical thinking in situation analysis.
Lower level evidence of analytic skill in applying tools to facts from scenario and independent research.
|Discussion of current and possible marketing strategies may be missing.
Review of products in terms of pricing, distribution; value proposition statement; appropriate understanding of competitors; SWOT or perceptual map appropriate may be missing.
Business climate and critical issues may be missing.
Less evidence of critical thinking in situation analysis.
Memorandum appears to have assembled with little application of analysis.
|60 – 54||53.99 – 48||47.99 – 42||Under 42|
|Total Content||80 – 72||71.99 – 64||63.99 – 56||Below 56|
[scroll down for rest of rubric]
|Communication – Possible points : 20|
|Form, Format Research & Writing||Exceptional professional presentation.
Overall, graduate level writing is reflected throughout, including accurate spelling, punctuation, grammar, and sentence structure.
Reflects highly appropriate graduate level research effort.
Source requirement is exceeded.
High quality sources are used. Sources are very recent.
All sources are well integrated into analysis.
All sources and images are identified and cited properly in the reference list (APA format)
Fewer than 5 errors in spelling, punctuation, grammar, and/or sentence structure.
Reflects appropriate graduate level research effort.
Minimum requirement of sources is met.
Sources are well integrated into analysis.
Quality sources are used. No sources prior to year 2015.
Few errors in the proper use of citations (APA format)
|Presentation needs improvement.
Overall, unacceptable number of errors in spelling, punctuation, grammar, sentence structure.
Reflects lower level graduate research effort.
Some questionable sources were used in analysis.
Research is sparse and insufficient. Some sources are not well integrated into the analysis, but merely quoted. Some older sources used, but for a useful purpose.
Reference list not properly used (APA format)
|Not professionally presented.
Overall, writing does not meet graduate standards.
Unacceptable number of errors in spelling, punctuation, grammar, sentence structure.
Paper reflects little evidence of research or uses sources that are not reliable and credible. Sources are older and may no longer be the most reliable in the field.
Any sources used were merely quoted.
No reference list or no attempt to apply APA format.
|20 – 18||17.99 – 16||15.99 – 14||Below 14|
|Content Points + Comm Points = TOTAL Grade|
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