CHICK FIL A - HOW BRANDS ARE BUILT ON DETAILS
When building a business in a traditionally saturated market, one of the only ways to break through the noise and set yourself apart from competitors is to differentiate. The more crowded the market gets, the harder it is to find ways to do things differently and make your mark. However, some companies use this as an opportunity to build incredibly detail-oriented brands, because sometimes, in order to successfully position yourself in a competitive market, you need to step away from the bigger picture and perfect the minutiae.
In the USA, it is difficult to picture a more crowded market than the fast-food industry. It reached 273 billion US dollars in 2019, fast food is both literally and figuratively at the heart of America and it's culture. So how do you stake your claim in this beloved and crowded industry? The answer for Chick-fil-A was in aligning their brand with the traditional Christian values. However, just translating this into marketing communications wouldn't be enough. Chick-fil-A identified the need to incorporate these values into the smallest details of their operations.
When it comes to fast food service, Chick-fil-A is unparalleled. It is notorious for its extremely polite and helpful service workers. The company invests a lot in training its service workers to ensure that they have the highest service standards out of any fast-food chain. This pays off as they frequently rank number one in customer service polls. However, it's not good enough for Chick-fil-A to simply tell staff to be extra kind to customers. The fast-food chain really goes the extra mile when it comes to investing in employees: since 1973, over 59,000 staff have received scholarships for higher education. To distinguish itself from competitors, Chick-fil-A had to ensure their core values ran through even the smallest details of their brand and are consistent from the restaurant floors to their back office.
To see Chick-fil-A's emphasis on the minor details, you need to look no further than their 2018 marketing campaign geared towards identifying the smallest acts of kindness, from their staff and magnifying it for a national audience.
Chick-fil-A are so committed to the core values of their brand that they go against fast food norms and close all their franchises on Sundays. This shows solidarity with their Christian demographic and invites their staff and customers to rest and worship if they choose so. It is not uncommon for American brands to align themselves with Christian values but seldom firms risk potentially hurting their bottom line for the sake of demonstrating their commitment to their beliefs.
Chick-fil-A also operates a point reward system for loyal customers. This is another minor detail that distinguishes the buying process, putting its distinct emphasis on kindness and generosity to the forefront of its consumers' minds.
Perfecting the details means taking the same care and attention to all points of contact a company has with the outside world. A quick look at Chick Fil A's social media sites and you will be blasted with the same wholesome and heartwarming attitude that you will encounter in stores. Their posts and their likes all work in tandem to support the brands unique selling point in its wholesome image. Whether it's through American soldiers posting Chick Fil A gifts they have received overseas or cute photos of dogs modelling their products. Chick Fil A has again taken the smallest detail that separates their brand from their competitors and blown it up exponentially into the public eye. Each point of communication Chick-Fil-A uses is perfectly designed to appeal to the interests of their primarily red state audience.
Each of these categories is, in turn, comprised of many little aspects that can all be attended to in the effort to co-ordinate a coherent and focused image of your business – in effect, working to create perceptions of your brand among your customer base.
Every element of your business matters, and focusing on the minute details of how you run it is instrumental to your branding efforts.
Chick Fil A shows us that it is important to take time away from strategies and the bigger picture of building your brand. Instead, concentrate on the details that make up every aspect of the business you run. In branding, it is often the smallest details that are the most important. Look for ways to improve every detail; there are opportunities everywhere.
Service Details Process Details
Brands are built on details.
About the author: Vincent Bissette is a freelance Brand Strategy and Design Consultant with over 30 years experience of branding and rebranding businesses and organisations, systematically, thoroughly and objectively. He has worked in major Design Consultancies as well as having run his own agency for 25 years, working with SMEs all over the UK to help them modernise their brand, grow their business, attract new customers, penetrate new markets and increase their sales, market share and profit. Throughout that time, there’s not much he hasn't done or many industries he hasn't worked in. He’s a creative, strategic thinker and problem solver with a wealth of experience in diagnosing trouble spots in brands and discovering their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Now based in South Lanarkshire, Scotland, he works throughout the entire UK.
Get in touch with him on Linkedin here