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The history of Chick-fil-A dates back to as early as 1946. At present, it is the second-largest chicken eatery in the United States of America. It was initially started as a restaurant named Dwarf House and now has over 1700 outlets in the United States alone. Their business philosophy is that of giving –– they believe that at their company, everybody’s job is to serve the people and be generous while sharing their time and talents (Blanchard & Miller, 2014). They believe in being kind to everyone and serve their customers like as if they were their friends. They often donate their extra food to the local shelters and are always available in the scene of a natural disaster to aid the victims. They even have a separate strategy for it –– the Chick-fil-A Shared Table Program. Since the 1970s, their Remarkable Futures education assistance initiative helps their workers realise their higher education goals, and the overall purpose of the company is to have a positive impact on the people and the local communities and not just serve chicken sandwiches (Simko, et al., 2016). They support the military, hold fundraisers for schools, and sometimes hold family events especially for children. In Chick-fil-A, the supplier is assumed to be fit and sound in terms of culture and financial structure. They have a tight control over their suppliers, and the orders are estimated by calculating an average of their past four weeks’ sales. This cuts down on the amount of waste generated and increases the profit margins.
The main reason behind the success of Chick-fil-A is its highly efficient brand positioning, which is an extremely important aspect of modern marketing. It helps in the occupation of a definite place in the minds of their customers or the target market. It seeks to increase and maximise the profits of the company by guiding the market strategies while also creating awareness among the customers (Khan, 2014). The main purpose with which Chick-fil-A was established was to serve God, and this mission statement guides all of their business decisions. Their main advantage is that they serve only the best and the freshest quality chicken and have a maximised customer interaction strategy. They maintain attentiveness and appreciate their customers, and are ready to make sure that they have the best experience at their outlets. Their advertising campaign with the cows saying Eat Mor Chikin laid stress on their point of difference and also made a mark in the minds of their customers ("Forbes Welcome", 2017). Their superior quality of food and customer service efficiency is practically unmatched, and the company has made use of this by expanding into newer markets. Their popularity has surpassed even Kentucky Fried Chicken, which was the former leader in fried chicken food chains. The company has also shown a remarkable growth yearly ever since it was founded in 1946. Their increased profits, their loyal customer base, and their continued expansion into other markets all demonstrate their successful brand positioning.
They do not give discounts and run all kinds of interesting promotions, and this has helped them to expand their business and build their reputation over all these years. They are now recognised as an innovator in the fast food industry, and are well equipped to keep pace with the ever-growing and competitive marketplace.
Rivalry: Chick-fil-A already has a steady market of loyal customers and has the competitive advantage over them because of their successful brand positioning. The CEO himself is closely involved with the employees and spends time with them as well as with the customers. This personalised form of interaction is what sets them apart from their rivals and gives them the edge over them.
Threat of substitutes: The main threat of any substitute comes from outside the company in the same industry. Chick-fil-A does have the threat of being replaced by chicken-based companies such as Kentucky Fried Chicken or even McDonald’s, but their statement of Eat Mor Chikin is what sets them apart from them as they continue to campaign in this manner with their bovine friends. Their main threats would be if any company introduces similar dishes with fish or pork.
Buyer power: It is very important for Chick-fil-A to maintain a strong presence in the market to draw in more and more customers. For this reason, they need to maintain their successful marketing campaigns and keep up with the quality of their products to ensure that they do not lose their loyal customers base.
Supplier power: Chick-fil-A sources their products from the best in the industry. They use antibiotic-free chicken across the entire United States ("No Antibiotics Ever", 2017) and are very particular about their food and animal standards. They also need to keep changing their suppliers from time to time to ensure that the qualities of their products do not falter and that they get the best quality chicken that can be made available.
Threat of new entrants: The market has the ability to adapt, and the competition in the food industry is intense, and thus many new companies may not choose to enter the market at this moment. Chick-fil-A already has a strong established market base and thus it will be difficult for new and upcoming brands to reach that position or overthrow them.
Owned originally by a family, Chick-fil-A continues to grow steadily and its sales are improving as well. They remain closed on Sundays because of their adherence to Christian values, and still have achieved the 5th rank in the list of top 100 restaurants in the country. The rise in sales was about 11.7% in the last year, amounting to almost $3.5 million (Schultz, 2017). They specifically have the advantage of knowing what makes their target market happy, and they also sometimes are able to hit those places which the customer themselves did not know they needed. They do not only sell sandwiches, but are also involved with the local communities. They are involved with a college sponsorship for over the past seventeen years (Sterling, 2016), and they are aware of the fact that most people in the United States eat away from home, and often struggle to put food on the table.
The market position of Chick-fil-A is a highly impressive one; their sales continue to improve at an amazing pace. Their sales see a growth by as high as 18 per cent and they easily leave behind their competitors, especially Burger King, KFC and McDonald’s (Hoffman, 2017). Their main strategy is to convince the people to eat more chicken and less beef and they use their Eat Mor Chikin slogan with the friendly cows to promote this. They have a popular breakfast menu and their overall food options are very different from their competitors. They even offer dessert items which sets them apart from the other companies ("Chick-fil-A is America’s favorite fast food chain, survey says", 2017).
Chick-fil-A has slightly less than two thousand outlets in the US compared to the 14,000 outlets of McDonald’s. However, these are just numbers and Chick-fil-A is seeing more success than McDonald’s or KFC in the past few years. They rank high when it comes to customer service satisfaction, as all their franchises are owned and operated by the locals (Ritson et al., 2017). Their customer satisfaction is something that is unmatched by KFC or Taco Bell, and in this era of fried chicken dominance, Chick-fil-A is surely the company that will see maximum growth and profits as they are at an advantage because of this reason.
The Chick-fil-A company needs to continue the expansion of their franchise by maintaining the $5000 start-up cost. They will need on an average, a hundred new outlets in a year. Their main threat would be the fact that the newer generations are moving away from religion, and this might cause damage in the long run, and this might cause damage in the long run, and this is something that is inevitable. Additionally, the introduction of a new character apart from their usual cow friends can help with the continuation of their unprecedented growth, and this should be first introduced in social media platforms to popularise them among the general public. The best market places for them would be in the western part of US, and also in Canada and Mexico, as the markets there are not only potential but also cost-effective ("The Chick-fil-a Marketing Strategy - BrandonGaille.com", 2017). The religious background of the founding members should not interfere with their business policies, and this will help in promoting a positive brand image of the company in the eyes of all the communities.
When it comes to social media, Chick-fil-A is as active as ever. They observe the Cow Appreciation day, and have a very strong presence on Twitter and Facebook among other social media websites as well (Orozco, 2016). Anyone signing up to their social media accounts are given several adverts that are designed to help in promoting awareness regarding the events that are sponsored by the fast food chain.
Blanchard, K., & Miller, M. (2014). The secret: what great leaders know and do. Berrett-Koehler Publishers.
Chick-fil-A is America’s favorite fast food chain, survey says. (2017). Fox News. Retrieved 17 July 2017, from http://www.foxnews.com/food-drink/2015/06/30/chick-fil-is-america-s-favorite-fast-food-chain-survey-says.html
Forbes Welcome. (2017). Forbes.com. Retrieved 17 July 2017, from https://www.forbes.com/sites/scottdavis/2013/12/16/chick-fil-as-raving-fans-growth-strategy/#317349781fb5
Hoffman, D. D. (2017). New Media's Impact on the Fast Food Industry: A Comparative Study of Taco Bell and Chick-fil-A.
Khan, M. A. (2014). Restaurant franchising: Concepts, regulations and practices. CRC Press.
No Antibiotics Ever. (2017). Chick-fil-A. Retrieved 17 July 2017, from https://www.chick-fil-a.com/About/Great-Food/No-Antibiotics-Ever
Orozco, D. (2016). Using Social Media in Business Disputes. MIT Sloan Management Review.
Ritson, M., Clews, M., O'Reilly, L., O'Reilly, L., Week, M., & Reporters, M. et al. (2017). Brand management the Chick-fil-A way - Marketing Week. Marketing Week. Retrieved 17 July 2017, from https://www.marketingweek.com/2012/08/08/brand-management-the-chick-fil-a-way/
Schultz, C. (2017). Chick-fil-A continues to gobble up market share. Seeking Alpha. Retrieved 17 July 2017, from https://seekingalpha.com/news/3192530-chick-fil-continues-gobble-market-share
Simko, P. J., Farris, P., Weiler, V., & Gerardo, P. (2016). Chick-Fil-A: A Bird of a Different Feather.
Sterling, J. (2016). The College Football Hall of Fame and Chick-fil-A Fan Experience. Journal of Sport History, 43(3), 329-331.
The Chick-fil-a Marketing Strategy - BrandonGaille.com. (2017). BrandonGaille.com. Retrieved 17 July 2017, from http://brandongaille.com/the-chickfila-marketing-strategy/
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