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Rashi Goel

How KFC repositioned copycats in consumers’ minds

Show may copycats crowded together in a sea of sameness
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Context: Not only do copycats shamelessly imitate every aspect of successful brands, but they also price themselves lower. Unsuspecting consumers mistake copycats to be the original and keep buying from them.

Strategy: Quality is in the mind of the consumer. The only reason copycats survive is because they benefit from the reflected glory of the market leader. Going head-to-head with them will only bring them more fame. Instead, if we can show consumers that the copycat is one in a crowd, their borrowed ‘specialness’ will vanish.

Insight: Imitation is the highest form of flattery.

Execution: Clustering all copycats together sends the signal that they are all the same and, hence not special.

The sucker punch is when KFC turns the situation into a positive by reframing it – only the best quality gets imitated, that’s why KFC is flattered.