By Alyson Beaulieu // Published on Jul 13, 2015
Kentucky Fried Chicken, founded by Colonel Harland Sanders in 1952, continues to be a worldwide phenomenon to this day. Their sacred fried chicken recipe has literally been a recipe for success, and what started out as a local chicken eatery is now a multinational company. With few changes to the original logo overtime, one thing has remained entirely constant- their brand identity.
Unlike many of its competitors in the fast food industry, KFC has only modified its logo five times in its entire five decades of existence. That being said, these five modifications stayed true to KFC’s original brand, only altering parts of the logo with the main focus on the genius of fried chicken himself: Colonel Harland Sanders.
Colonel Harland Sanders is far more than what appears on all of the soda cups, paper bags and miscellaneous items alike. Not only did he develop the original “finger-licking” good recipe, but he also created the legacy that continues to live today. He opened his first restaurant in 1939 and then ran a chain of chicken eateries. By 1964, there were over 600 KFC franchises, making Colonel Sanders not only a successful chef, but also a brilliant businessman.
The logo presents Colonel Sanders in graphic form wearing a white double-breasted suit topped with a red apron, which is exactly what he would wear in the kitchen. It’s bold but simple at the same time, and features what really started the billion-dollar organization. So many brands get lost in this process, and it’s important to stay true to the brand while modernizing aspects of it. Gregg Dedrick, President of KFC’s US division stated: “This change gives us a chance not only to make sure we stay relevant but also communicates to customers the realness of Colonel Sanders and the fact that he was a chef.”
Along with these subtle changes to the logo, KFC has also upgraded newly built stores. One thing that has not been changed during this process, however, is their menu. Fast food chains alike now offer healthier items on their menu due to the current health kick trend. For example, Wendy’s has a veggie burger on their menu, and McDonald’s has revamped their entire menu to appeal to a healthier audience. KFC will do no such thing, and will continue to produce extra crispy chicken, and copious amounts of buttery mashed potatoes. After all, potatoes are a vegetable right? Regardless, KFC, again, is being consistent with their original brand identity. People love the food, and someone once said, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it...”
Overall, KFC has seized the first “pass” within our pass or fail segment here at Boldwerks. Through their timeless logo, and delicious menu, KFC rebranded themselves simply, tactfully, and thus, correctly. The proof is in the pudding- or the mashed potatoes, rather.
"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. "
- Mark Twain