I’d like to share my research summary for the individual project.
These days, social media has been gaining more importance as a tool for companies to market their products and their brands. This phenomenon also happens in fast food industry. Social media can be used to generate brand awareness and consumer engagement, which will lead to positive brand attitude. Brand attitude is shown to affect purchasing decision, and thus it is important for companies to effectively generate brand awareness and consumer engagement, so as to eventually increase their bottom lines.
I opted to study Facebook pages because they are various means which companies and users can express themselves. Narratives, photos, videos, emotion icons are just a few of those means. The three fast food companies that will be the focus of this study is Burger King (BK), KFC and McDonald’s. This is because they are the three leading fast food giants in Singapore. The time frame for my research is one month, from 21 February to 21 March 2016.
- Which of the three is the least effective in brand awareness generation and consumer engagement?
- What can be done to help this company?
To study these, I have used some indicators such as the average and total number of posts, nature of the posts and responses, and the features of the Facebook pages.
Analysis & Findings
1. BK has the most average and total number of posts out of the three companies, which could possibly signal the best effort in generating brand awareness.
2. However, BK’s posts show a lack of commitment to the company’s famous “Be Your Way” slogan. Most of its posts blatantly focused on BK’s products, with minimal to no emphasis on the humanization and consumers’ lifestyles, when these are the two aspects that should be represented by the “Be Your Way” slogan. On the other hand, McDonald’s and KFC’s posts occasionally include themes that consumers can relate to. For example, KFC reposted a consumer’s post and mentioned that some people regard KFC not only as a restaurant, but as a place with memories. Also, McDonald’s adopted brand journalism through a post of short video that mentioned how an awkward date is made better by a Frappe.
It was also discovered that BK’s initial campaign of “Ayam What I Am” (a pun for “I am What I Am”) is meant to be the application of “Be Your Way”. There was an attempt to personalize the Chicken Fries packaging by producing different designs. However, it was noted that eventually, the campaign sidetracked and it was more focused on the competition for users to take pictures with bus stop advertisements that feature the various packaging of the Chicken Fries.
3. It was also found that BK’s Facebook page is not verified, whereas the other two are. Verification (which is a small blue tick that appears beside the name of the company) might seem minute, but this can affect the credibility of the companies. This is especially so in fast food industry, whereby there are so many Facebook accounts under the same brand across the world, and even within Singapore itself (for example: KFC Kallang, McD’s Jurong Point). The relevance of this issue with the research questions is when the consumers visit these unofficial pages and leave their responses there, expecting the companies to reply. However, since the companies will not track the unofficial pages, it might send a false impression that the companies do not care about the consumers, and might jeopardize the companies’ future attempts to engage consumers and generate brand awareness.
So overall, it was found that BK’s Facebook page is the least effective in generating brand awareness and engaging the consumers.
The main reason for the failure is that BK failed to consistently and sufficiently apply the “Be Your Way” slogan. Therefore, the suggestions below is to ensure that the slogan is consistently and sufficiently applied.
1. #ThisIsMyWay campaign
The essence of this campaign is the customization of orders, because currently BK only serves fixed menu items. The first stage of this campaign is to invite influencers to compete in customizing their food and beverage, and post the short video of this competition on Facebook.
Once the users are intrigued, BK proceeds to the second stage, allowing all consumers to customize their own orders. BK employees can take pictures of consumers with their orders, or consumers can take their own pictures. Consumers can also describe their customizations, and the inspirations for those customized orders. This is then posted to Facebook, followed by the #ThisIsMyWay hashtag. Entries that receive the most “Like”, “Love”, “Haha”, or “Wow” will be rewarded with cash or vouchers.
Through this campaign, consumers can inspire and be inspired by others’ customizations and share feedback on Facebook. This will hence increase consumer engagement. Furthermore, brand awareness will increase because consumers will develop an implicit memory that BK is a brand that allows customization according to the consumers’ lifestyle choices.
2. #FutureBKBurgerCandidate campaign
In this campaign, the product is somewhat fixed, but the reward is customized. This campaign will require consumers to submit their own ideas of the BK burger, subject to some rules that BK may choose to impose such as the burger must use at least 3 ingredients that BK has never used. The submission is followed by the #FutureBKBurgerCandidate hashtag. BK will then invite the hold a poll on Facebook for the top few entries, and the winning submission will be rewarded. The winner can choose from a list of rewards, ranging from donation to a beneficiary of the winner’s choice to a short trip to a nearby country.
This campaign will apply the “Be My Way” slogan because the consumers can submit entries that are based on their gastronomic experiences, and the winner gets to choose how BK can reward him. So this campaign will further enhance consumers’ implicit memory of BK as a personalized brand that lets consumers be their way. Also, requesting submissions will increase consumer engagement
Thanks for reading, and all the best for your remaining papers!