The Yum! Brands-owned fast-food chain ties up with Mumbai-based The Souled Store to make its debut in the branded merchandise space.
Designed in collaboration with Mumbai-based pop-culture merchandise startup - The Souled Store, KFC has announced an exclusive range of merchandise called KFC Merch. The range will be available on the KFC App, website and via The Souled Store's site. From t-shirts to badges and mobile covers to stickers, the brand plans to keep widening the range over the next few months.
Given that a large part of the global populace seems to be concerned about environmental, health and ethical benefits of vegetarianism into account, we wonder if this is the best time to launch something of this level by the Yum! Brands-owned fast-food chain. Flaunting your chicken love on your t-shirt might turn out to be rather intimidating for your vegan or vegetarian buddies.
However, when the competition is fierce and customers are constantly bombarded with products and services, will an effort like this help the brand stand out from the crowd and make an impact on the brand awareness front? What that means is, is it crisp enough to meet the branding goals? We ask the experts...
Jagdeep Kapoor, chairman and MD, Samsika Marketing Consultants, says that to build a brand, every possible medium should be used to put your message on. "It could be a surface area; it could be just audio or audiovisual, digital or even outdoor signage. To use the articles for branding, which consumers wear and carry, will make the brand's visibility go up multifold," he adds.
Regarding personal sensitivities, he feels there could be a range for everyone. "Whatever is relevant can be worn or carried, as long as the brand is visible. My brand mantra, across the decades, has been - 'Jo dikhta hai, Woh bikta hai'. The branding will amuse, but be of use to the consumers and the brand," he concludes.
On the other hand, Rahul Vengalil, founder - WhatClicks, sees merchandise as a natural extension for an iconic brand like KFC. He feels that only time will tell if this extension is a success as it depends on multiple factors ranging from distribution, partners, the cool quotient, pricing, and quality of the products. "If they can drive the sales of the merchandise, then it is both a revenue generator as well as a marketing platform. The veg versus non-veg debate is a non-starter, to begin with, if the brand can maintain the cool quotient. Besides, India being a vegetarian country, is a myth," he signs off.