KFC Pakistan – Marketing Report
KFC Pakistan – Marketing Report Company Information
KFC, the world’s largest fried and a chicken restaurant chain, offers great-tasting meals and snacks in nearly 14,000 restaurants around the world. Forty years ago, Colonel Sanders invented what is now called “home-meal replacement” — selling complete take-away meals to modern families. He called it, “Sunday Dinner, Seven Days a Week.”. KFC logo features one of the best-recognized icons in the world — Colonel Harland Sanders.
- Be The Leader, Act Like The Leader
- Customer Focus – We listen and respond to the voice of the customer.
- Belief in People – We believe in people, trust in positive intentions, encourage ideas from everyone and actively develop a workforce that is diverse in style and background.
- Recognition – We find reasons to celebrate the achievements of others and have fun doing it.
- Coaching and Support – We coach and support each other.
- Accountability – We do what we say, we are accountable.
- Excellence – We take pride in our work and have a passion for excellence.
- Positive Energy – We execute with positive energy and intensity.
- Teamwork – We practice team together, team apart.
The interviews conducted at KFC revealed that communication plays a dynamic role in effective delegation and promulgation of duties.
Change of Headquarters:
The company had it’s head quarters previously at Clifton Center, Schon Circle. The office of the company at that time was on six floors. Each Department was located in a separate floor and the employees of each department reported to their own department respectively. This caused difficulty in the communication process as the management found it difficult to communicate with each other. Time Lags were involved and feedback could not be obtained immediately.
The company shifted it’s head quarters from Clifton Center, Schon Circle to Korangi Industrial area. This was done so that all the employees will be face to face with each other and communicate easily with each other. The present building is single storey and all the persons have been assigned cubicles respectively, which facilitates in the communication process. This has resulted in increased productivity and encouraged immediate feedback between the employees at different management levels.
Use of Technology to Improve Communication:
The company has it’s own LAN network in the office and all computers are interconnected on the LAN. E-mail and the Internet facility are provided to all employees. There is an ongoing process to connect all the branches of KFC on the LAN. The company plans to update its network gradually to a WAN. KFC will be the first company to use a WAN, which will link all it’s branches throughout the country.
KFC also uses Teleconferencing and Video Conferencing in its headquarters at Singapore. Management plans to introduce these facilities in Pakistan is the near future.
DELEGATION OF AUTHORITY
Importance of Communication in Management:
The nature of the job requires that there should be a great degree of interaction between Area manager and the restaurant manager. The duties of all persons are specifically defined. The Restaurant manager’s role is to ensure that all the persons understand the nature and the purpose of their job from the Assistant restaurant manager to the Supervisor. All the persons are effectively involved in the communication process, which ensures that the objective of consumer satisfaction is achieved.
The emphasis is throughout on informal communication. Every person knows the other person personally. During rush hours, the restaurant manager helps in taking orders from customers to delivering them in order to maintain quality. Persons are known on first name basis; employees in the lower management call their supervisor by their first name and are aware of all the senior persons present at KFC.
Management claims that the employees in the lower management are encouraged to voice their genuine claims; if a full time team member feels that his grievances are not being redressed, he or she may approach the area manager or the operations manager easily and discuss their problems.
Presence of Teams:
An important concept prevalent at KFC is the concept of teams. The employees at the lowest level of management are classified as full time team members and part time team members. The idea is to develop the role of teams among the employees. Rather then classifying them as waiters, they are called team members so that they also feel important and part of the entire workforce.
This approach helps the company to meet its objectives and sales targets, as it is illustrated in part IV of this report. The e-mail about Super-sub deals emphasizes the concept of teams by appealing to the workers that they are a part of the marketing team and it will be due to the collective effort of all the team members that the organization will be able to achieve their super-ordinate goals.
Feedback and Idea Generation:
Management at KFC claims that different teams are formed which visit various restaurants and obtain feedback from full time team members and part time team members so that they are also involved in the decision making process. This timely feedback helps to improve employee morale and increase productivity of the entire organization.
Management also encourages idea generation among employees at all levels in the management. The company uses effective reward systems to ensure that ideas are presented to improve the quality of the menu and the services provided.
- Recently, KFC opened a new branch in Lahore, Defence area. The branch was not performing well compared to the other branches in Lahore, as it faced strong competition from the recently opened branch of Mac Donalds in Lahore. The company identified the problem of declining sales and called a meeting of all sales representatives to tackle the problem. The steps taken by the management during the company were similar to that outlined in chapter 17 of the book, “strategies for successful business and group meetings”. The steps taken were:
- Back Ground Analysis-Reason for decline in sales due to the emergence of strong competition from McDonalds, decline in sales, total customers lost and impact on future profits were discussed.
- Solution Discovery– Idea generation was encouraged at this stage in the form of brainstorming. All team members and persons in middle management were encouraged to present their solutions and ideas. Possible solutions were the introduction of a new combination of different meals at reduced prices, greater advertisement, possible change of location to encounter competition and distribution of coupons to attract more potential customers.
- Solution Evaluation- All the solutions were discussed and possible solutions were short-listed and discussed.
- Choice of Action- The Company decided that it would introduce new combos to attract potential customers at reduced prices and focus on market penetration to increase sales with the effort to change the location in the long run.
Use of Technical Jargon:
Technical Jargon is used extensively at KFC in communication. A term used at KFC, Zinger sales refers to the total number of Zinger burgers sold during the day. It does not refer to the net sales made by KFC during the day. Similar jargon is used throughout the organization in communication with employees.
Principles of Business Communication:
A message is considered to be complete in its objective if it carries the answers to the five W’s of communication. The answer to ‘Who’ is given in the first section of the message.
The attention is directed towards Mr. Faisal Anwar, the person specified as the one who is intended to receive this fax message and take the appropriate actions on behalf of the Lever Bros., the company where he is employed.
The subject line next gives the answer to ‘What’, the desired action stated in the fax message. It is clearly stated that the KFC cannot accommodate the reduced price promo offer of the company and thus wishes them to switch back to the regular wrapper product, which they were supplying earlier to them. The desired action is very specifically and categorically stated.
All the KFC outlets are to be supplied with the replaced product. So the answer to ‘Where’ is also given in the message.
Next, the answer to ‘When’ is given by stating the date with which this change in delivery is desired to be brought into action. That is mentioned as ‘from the next delivery date’.
However, the final ‘W’, ‘Why’ is not considered and answered. This leaves a very bad impression upon the receiver of the message and is a very bad attempt at gaining the desired reaction from the suppliers of the product, which after all is a ‘direct persuasive request’. The reason as to the change in the company policy is not given and is instead simply stated as unaccommodating situation for them.
The language used is very basic and no big, or high-sounding words are used. All the terms are easily understandable, which goes a long way in imparting the message clearly and distinctly. Relevant statements, pertaining to the issue, i.e. supply of the regular wrapper ice cream, are given only. No repetitions are made and the message is intended to convey the message clearly the first time. The message in its appeal is very concise and to the point.
Although the ‘You’ attitude is not used, the message is very clear in its approach as to who is desired to take the required action. No attempt, however is made to develop an atmosphere where the reader is given the impression that he is being politely asked to take the required action. Instead, the intended actions are being imposed upon him. No reader benefit is stated, and the arguments are not supported by any facts and figures or conclusive statement giving company policy. Only the news of not being able to accommodate their product is given.
No facts and figures are referred to. However, the desired action is very clear. The statements used to impart the message are, “difficult for KFC to accommodate”, “replace the batch”, and “supply only the desired batch”.
The message is fairly short, with very regular, day to day used words such as, ‘unavoidable circumstances’, and ‘reduced price promo’. Only two paragraphs, with very short sentences are used. So the message is not lost mid way through and is very clear.
The language used in the letter is very simple and easy to comprehend. However, certain grammatical errors have been committed, that shows perhaps a lack of interest on part of the sender of the message. The first line of the second paragraph has an error of writing mechanics, where a comma is wrongly added. Also, in the second line of the same paragraph, the word ‘then’ is used after the second comma, which is a mistake. This word is inappropriate at this place. This gives the image of a careless attitude on the part of the writer of the message and shows the level of importance being given to the receiver of the message.
The courtesy in the message is entirely lacking. No tactful or thoughtful approach is used in giving the bad news. The news is broken directly to the receiver. The final line of the message brings forth a very irritating and unconcerned attitude from the sender.
Organizational Plan of the Message:
Inductive Approach to giving Bad News Messages:
The writer of the letter has tried to use the ‘indirect’ or ‘inductive’ approach in bringing out the message to the receiver. However, as we shall see, the approach is badly used and a very bad effort is made at adapting the basic principles that outline this approach.
The Standard Format:
Ideally, a bad news has to be delivered with an opening of a buffer statement, or a neutral statement that should help to reduce the negative impact of the imminent news. Next, the explanation regarding the reasons of the action being taken must follow, after which comes the desired action that needs to be taken. Finally, a positive and friendly close has to be given as a show of concern to the reader.
The Practical Example:
However, the fax message does not start with any buffer, rather directly jumps on the main idea of the message, which is requesting the supply of the regular ice cream, instead of the new promotional product. This is stated in the very first paragraph, thus showing the level of importance given to the main idea by the writer, rather than to the concern of the receiver of the message.
The main idea is not supported by any facts or arguments and the decision taken by the management is rather forcefully implied upon the receiver. No effort is taken to build any goodwill or show reader concern or benefit. The fax does not have a positive close. This is a very bad attempt at maintaining goodwill or professional relationships with people whom one does business.
Direct Persuasive Request; Example of a Bad Letter:
The message is a persuasive request on part of the KFC management. The attention grabbing statement is the actual bad news being given to the reader. No interest is developed in the reader to build support for the desired action. Rather, the desired decision is being enforced upon the reader without consideration to his desire to comply with the required action. The statement of action is clear, specific and contains all the necessary information regarding its requirements, i.e. where and when the desired action needs to be taken.
The Sender’s Perception:
One aspect that needs to be highlighted in this argument is the approach of the sender of the message and the cognitive framework he is exposed to while structuring this message. We have to understand that it is entirely possible that there exists such a relationship between the sender and receiver of the message that an informally toned message, such as this one was sent.
Also, both could have had previous conversations after which this message was sent and all details regarding the reasons for the action already discussed, so they were not mentioned in this message. However, it is very clear that the tone of the message is very harsh and the desired action is being enforced upon the receiver.
The company letterhead is simply a logo of the KFC, depicting the image of Colonel Sanders, with KFC imprinted on the bottom right of the image. The logo is at one corner of the paper, as opposed to the standard, where the letterhead is at the top center of the page. That should contain the company name and not the initials only, with the address and contact numbers alongwith it. Only after this information is given, should the company logo appear in the letterhead. However, it is a known fact that the image of Colonel Sanders is very recognizable, and the initials ‘KFC’ have become a standard name in itself. Hence, this combination in itself is identifiable and forms a very attractive letterhead.
Format Details Concerning the Standard Parts:
The word ‘facsimile’ is clearly written on the top and highlighted prominently. All the necessary information regarding the fax is mentioned as a separate part of the message. The person’s name, intended to receive the fax, is clearly written highlighted by the initials ‘attn:’ alongwith his company name and address.
The person sending the fax has stated his name clearly also, so that a specific and clearly directed reply can be sent by the receiver of this fax. Names of people receiving a copy of this fax message are also given, alongwith the date of sending this message. Return fax number is given, while the number of pages of the fax also stated.
Subject line is properly highlighted, but not underlined, as is normally the practice. A clear and specific theme of the message is stated in the subject line.
The Body Format and Closing:
The format style of the letter part of the fax is modified-block, with paragraph indentations, single line spacing and open punctuation. The right-hand margins are justified, however the complimentary close and signature appears on the left side, rather than the prescribed right hand side. No reference initials are included.
A polite and mild complementary close is given with the name of the person sending the fax stated again. His designation is not given, which is contrary to the standard accepted format.
Memo regarding apple pie delivery
Principles of Business Communication:
The memo, to Mr. Omar Tariq of Harrys, contains a message regarding the change in date of delivery of a dessert from their company at certain outlets of the KFC. The message is clear in as to who the targeted person of the memo is. The receiver of the message is being made aware of the change in plans of the launch of the product due to the delay caused by them. This answers the second question of what the purpose of the memo actually is.
The four outlets, where the product is to be launched are clearly mentioned and named so as to leave no doubt about where the affect of the delay is being felt. The dates are also very clearly stated when the product will be launched after the delay. However, the reason of the delay is not stated as it is mentioned earlier in the memo that a discussion has already taken place between the two concerned people, so its mentioning in the actual memo is not required.
The terminology and the language of the memo is very clear, simple and has no wordy expressions, which has made the message very understandable and easy to comprehend. The statements used are very relevant to the issue, which is shifting of the date of the launch of the product. After that, intimation is given to the receiver of the message about the necessary arrangements that they desire to make in order to accommodate this change.
The memo is focussed on the action that the KFC now has to take in order to accommodate the change in the delivery date of the product. So the emphasis is more on ‘we’, rather than ‘you’. Reader benefit is not given, as this is simply to inform the reader about the change caused due a fault of them. However, the memo is structured in a very polite tone with the reader being kindly asked to make the necessary adjustments in his own plans regarding the change in plans of launch.
The memo is bare of any facts or specific figures, as this is simply a notification of change in plans of launch. However, the dates of change have been very clearly stated so that the necessary arrangements can be made.
The structure of the sentences is very short and they are formatted on a very clear format. The message is easily readable and understandable as it conveys all the information alongwith the desired response in a lucid manner.
Grammatically and structurally, the language and the format of the message are very correct. The memo shows that the sender has been careful in preparing the message and shows the value he sets of the people he is coming into contact with.
The tone of the message shows reader concern. Even though it is clear from the message that the receiver of the message is at fault that has caused his company the delay and has had to make the necessary adjustments regarding the launch of the product, the tone of the message is very faint and friendly. The memo is ending with a statement where the sender is actually politely requesting the receiver to make the required changes and adjustments.
Informative Specific Purpose:
Purpose and Format:
The memo is being sent with the purpose to bring to the knowledge of the recipient the change in the date of the launch of the product, so that the necessary adjustments can be made within time. The memo is formatted on the plan of a specific purpose, which in this case is to inform the management at the Harrys of the change.
The title of the message is gives the idea about the theme of the subject contained in the message. The reader can gauge from it the intended thought that sender is sending through this message. The explanation follows later, however the purpose of the title is simply to give an idea about the thought contained in the message. In this memo, we can see that the subject line states the title as ‘Apple Pie Delivery’, which prepares the reader for what might follow in the actual body of the message.
The General Purpose:
The general purpose is the macro or the overall purpose of the message. It contains in it the overall idea that the message will be serving. It prepares the reader to identify and relate his mindset with the possible news that will follow later in the message. In this case, the purpose of the message is clearly to inform.
The Specific Purpose:
The specific purpose or the micro or exact purpose is the actual idea or theme of the message. It states the reason of the message clearly and to the point, so that the reader is able to take the appropriate action desired in the message. This memo has a specific purpose stated in the body as “ a decision to launch the product from the 16th of March, 99 onwards”. The desired action is stated politely in the only line of the second paragraph, where the management at the company receiving the memo is advised to made adjustments to their arrangements, regarding their commitments with this launch.
Memo regarding petrol entitlement
Principles of Business Communication:
This is an example of interdepartmental memo, which is being sent to the company head, requesting an increase in the petrol entitlement of the marketing department, where it is actually required. The sender has the company head, i.e. the country manager as his target and identified him to take the desired course of action, when earlier he had made a similar request to the then country head on the same issue, that was turned down.
The sender requires that his petrol entitlement be increased which is a direct request to the head of the organization. The desired action is very clearly stated with a reference to a similar earlier request. He feels that his request is valid and should be accommodated. The marketing department is also identified as the area that is to gain the benefit out of this entitlement. The date of the action desired is not given as it is upto the discretion of the head to accept the request. However, date of an earlier such request is clearly given, to add credibility to his claim. The reason for the request, i.e. the use of the vehicle of the department for the company use, is stated alongwith a reference of the whole office, who see the vehicle running. This certainly adds credibility to the claims of the manager for the increase in petrol entitlement.
The arguments used and the actual request is very specific and to the point, without the use of high sounding words. Only relevant statements are used where the emphasis is on specific facts of dates and the quantity of raise desired. This helps to keep the message focussed and the theme of the message becomes very clear and actionable.
The message is giving a very distinct ‘I’ attitude as the sender bases the desired action upon certain claims. Reader benefit is not a major issue in the memo, however it is highlighted through an argument that the vehicle is used in the amount that entitles it to have more fuel allocation than before. The vehicle is running for the marketing department of the company. Integrity is built by naming the person earlier approached with the same issue, who had turned it down, and a reference to the office personnel who see the vehicle being used in the manner claimed.
Very specifically, the dates of earlier requests alongwith the quantity of petrol allocated, and desired are stated so that the response time is reduced, and the message is made more believable. Words and expressions that show a sense of swift and positive action are used. These include statements like, “wish to place on record” and “granted with immediate effect”.
The sender has made an obvious attempt at keeping the message very clear and easily understandable, so that his argument is taken a careful note of. The memo seems to be a good example of a clear and precise message, where the example of an earlier failed request is used to build on the point of the sender. Sentences used are short, and the message is not lost through the memo. It can easily be identified.
The level of the language used is informal, however, certain expressions such as ‘sanctioned’ and ‘vehicle’ might be termed as formal, as they could have been replaced by the daily used words ‘granted’ and ‘car’. This shows the level of concern and hierachial difference between the sender and receiver of the message. The facts and dates seem to be clearly verified as they are categorically stated as references. The writing mechanics are not violated at any stage of the message and the memo is seemingly drafted with due attention given.
The sender has taken the approach of being really tactful with the issue, by first stating his claim due to an earlier request that was turned down when the others were granted their requests. That was at a time when the department actually needed the entitlement due to the use of the vehicle, a fact known to the whole office. This however is stated very thoughtfully, so that the receiver is not irritated by the request.
Persuasive Request within the Organization:
The memo is structured on the format of a Direct-Request Plan, where the main idea of the message is delivered in the beginning. The request is supported by valid and authentic claims, with an example of an earlier request, to add credibility, which was actually rejected.
Support for Request:
The writer is supporting his case by giving specific facts and dates. The exact amount of change desired is written clearly in mathematical terminology, so that confusion is at a minimum. The date and name of the person earlier requested are also mentioned for further verification.
Tone of the Message:
Very implicit and direct tone is used in the message where the reader is getting the information very precisely, for eg. statements like “it was not done”, “the only department that was not sanctioned” and “granted with immediate effect”. This shows the level of understanding and relationship between the two people, the atmosphere seems to be very informal and open.
Courteous Close with Motivation to take Action:
The close is courteous with due consideration given to the official status of the person who is receiving the memo. The urge to get the desired action implemented has been put forward in a very polite and caring manner, so that the tone of the request at no time is threatening, rather that of appealing.
Memo regarding corn re-launch
Principles of Business Communication:
Another example of an interdepartmental memo, the sender is asking the receiver to insure the availability of the corns at the outlets for sale. The person intended to make sure of this arrangement is mentioned at the top of the memo, so that no confusion remains as to who is responsible to carry out this task. The sender is very specific in the action he desires to be taken, i.e. to make the corns available at all the outlets alongwith the relevant instructions to the restaurant managers and cashiers.
The memo very clearly states that all the outlets need to be supplied with corns from the warehouse. The target of where the action is desired is directed to the receiver very specifically. The letter is giving a very informal appeal, in that abbreviations and casual statements are being used. The issue of when the action is desired is an example of this where the sender simply says ‘ASAP’, duly highlighted for emphasis. The reason for this action is also implied in that the corns had run out in the warehouse, but since now the corns are available again, they need to be moved to the outlets.
The memo is very concise in its approach with the intended action stated very clearly in as little words as possible. No repetitions are made and the idea is stated clearly the first time with only the relevant statements requiring the desired action stated implicitly.
The memo is simply an order from the sender requiring the desired action according to the company policy and requirements. The reader is also an employee of the same organization and thus does not need to be shown his interest in doing his job.
The memo is very clear in its objective and has the desired impact upon the receiver of the message. It does not require specific facts to convince the reader to comply with the requirements of the company he works for. However, the message is very strong and concrete in its structure as it includes only the desired action with a sense of great urgency.
The whole message is composed of simply two sentences that are very specific and objective in their approach. All the terms used are very common and create no doubt or questions in the mind of the reader. Hence, there is no barrier to the intended meaning coming out of the message.
The tone of this message is very informal and there seems to be a great deal of understanding between the reader and sender of the message, as the terminologies used are very direct and could not be used between two people who do not share the same background. Abbreviations, ‘RM’ and words ‘menu scripts’ and ‘menuboards’ are very inter-organizational words. The language level and correctness is maintained in the message.
A level of openness seems to exist between the sender and receiver of the memo. Hence, a very open, carefree and direct attitude is visible in the tone of the message. However, there is nothing in the memo to suggest that the reader should get offended due to lack of courtesy on part of the sender, as the intention is only to inform about the availability of the product in the warehouse, so that the desired action can be taken.
Format of the Memorandum:
The Prescribed Format:
A standard memorandum in the top section contains the information regarding who the memo is being sent to, who is sending it, the subject, date and a telephone number for a possible reply. The next section is the actual message or the body of the memorandum.
In the body, no indentations are given and the letter starts from the same margin as the information stated above. Finally the reference initials must follow the body of the memo. Copy notations, such as ‘CC’ or ‘BCC’ must be included between the ‘TO’ and ‘FROM’ at the top of the page.
The Unsought for parts of the Memo:
However, items that do not form the part of a memorandum are the inside address, salutations, complimentary close and a full signature, as the name of the sender is already mentioned at the top of the message.
Letterhead and Stationery Specifications:
The actual paper on which the memo is written must follow a standard format also. The word ‘Memorandum’ needs to be imprinted clearly at the top center of the paper, with the company name at the top right corner, without the address.
The standard size of the letter is 81/2 by 11 inches. The paper is ideally white in color, especially ones attached to the laser printers. The paper must have atleast 25% cotton content which prevents the paper turning yellow through time.
The Practical Example:
The example of the memos from the KFC shows some deviations from the standards mentioned above. The paper format is slightly different from the one specified. The company name is replaced by its logo, which is a very identifiable image also. However, the major deviation is that the word ‘Memo’ is used and even that at the top left corner of the paper. It is clearly visible and readable nevertheless.
The paper used is bright white, with the printing done on a laser printer, according to the laid down specifications. The paper quality is good, with a high cotton content, as the paper gives a very crispy feel. The size of the letter part of the memo is adjusted to the regular specifications of 81/2 by 11.
The Specific Information Section:
This is the section that contains the information regarding the receiver and sender of the message alongwith other details of the memo. The person intended to receive the memo is very clearly mentioned and is referred to as ‘To’. Also, the persons sending the memo have stated their names very distinctly right after the name of the receiver.
The subject line is made visible by highlighting it so that it is easily readable. However, according to the standard format, the subject line is the last line, just before the body of the memorandum, a suggestion not followed in the examples under discussion. The dates of sending the memos are also given, as stated in the standard format.
The copy notation is the final writing in the top section whereas it should have been adjusted between the sender’s and receiver’s name as mentioned in the standard memo format.
The Body Text:
Next, the body of the memo follows the standard memo format in that no salutations are included at the start of the body. The start of the body should be atleast three line spacings below the top section.
However, the memos in discussion show a discrepancy from the standard, as only two line spacings are given. Also, the paragraphs should be separated by two line spacings, but here this condition is also not adhered to. No complimentary close is to be given, so yet another deviation is seen as the close is with the word; ‘Regards’ in all three examples.
Name of the person sending the message is not to be mentioned after the close, only otherwise if it is not stated at the top. In these cases on the contrary we see that the name is given both at the start, and then towards the end as well. No reference initials are included in the message, which could only mean that the memos have no references, otherwise their inclusion is a must.
E-mail is used today as a major tool in bringing down the distances between people working together, as co-workers, or as reference groups to each other. At the KFC, the emphasis has always been to bring down the channels of communication to speed up the decision taking and implementation process, so that the customers get the most value of the money spent at their outlets.
E-mails can be very effective in bringing all the people working at the KFC closer, so that now, the people sitting at the headquarters in one corner of Karachi can be in direct and immediate contact with an outlet that is hundreds of miles away, in another city.
The purpose of an e-mail message, or any message, cannot however be served if it is not effectively delivered. A look at an actual example from the company will reveal how effective the KFC management has been in implementing the new technology effectively.
Principles of Business Communication:
A message is deemed complete in all aspects if it is successful in imparting the desired meaning to the receiver and gains the intended response from him. This can only be achieved if all the necessary and relevant questions are answered, and the reader is left in no doubt as to what the message implied.
We see from the first e-mail message, dated September 23, that the message is just about complete in delivering the intended meaning. The message is e-mailed to all the restaurant managers, so the people who are intended to take the desired action are clearly specified.
The purpose of the e-mail is to notify all the RM’s about the new Chicky Premium Offer, so that they can prepare to test sell the mugs as they arrive at their respective outlets. The sender is very clear in giving the details of all the procedure that has to be undertaken to make the mugs available for sale. Also, specific directions are given as to what needs to be done in case the consignment of inventory exceeds the actual number of sales in a certain period.
The RM’s of all the specified outlets are directed very specifically about the product launch through mentioning each outlets name separately, so that no one is left in any doubt about his role is the process of this marketing campaign. As the outlets are where the customers come, so naturally they are targeted as the obvious choice to launch the test sale run.
The exact time frame of the intended operation of the trial run is specified, after which the data of sales would be analyzed. However, the dates have been wrongly stated. Whereas the starting date is given as the first of October, the date of the actual supply of the inventory to the outlets is given as the 28th of the same month, rather than of the current month, i.e. of September. The total time frame of the whole operation is listed as forty days, so there does not seem any reason, apart from the slight misstatement, for the respective RM’s to be misled on the dates issue.
There seems to be a very informal and open attitude being depicted in the mail. The sender obviously has no reservations in sharing the company policy with the RM’s and has given the entire plan of operations regarding this campaign, to the managers. The ideas are supported by clear facts and figures, however the exact reasons for the launch are not stated.
Another important factor that must be considered in any message is how the desired actions need to be brought about. The message again is very clear, specific and contains all the information that is required by the RM’s regarding the procedures of the launch. Details of how the delivery to each outlet, in Karachi and outside Karachi, are included, alongwith information regarding the exact time frame of the offer. The sale price of each unit is also stated as well as information regarding how the campaign is going to be marketed.
Although the message is rather long and drags on due to the number of details included, it is necessary to understand that such details were important in delivering a complete message. Hence, a certain extent of conciseness is sacrificed at the expense of a complete message. However, we do see that no large statements are used, nor any wordy expressions are employed to get the message through. The terms are all appropriate, well used and no repetitions are made in the message.
An obvious attempt is made at making the readers the targets of the message. The ‘you’ attitude is emphasized upon and the managers are given due importance that makes them feel part of the team responsible to bring through this project successfully. All the positive and pleasant facts are emphasized and clearly stated so that the managers are made aware of the benefits that would come out of the project. Even the expected sales figures are given so that respective restaurant managers can gauge their performances against those expected by the headquarters.
The product specifications, time and dates, price and expected sales figures, all are stated very clearly and distinctly so as to build the credibility and develop a serious tone in the message. The readers are urged to work towards making the product a success through the use of action seeking statements, like “lets get some big sales”. The impact of the message is one of encouraging the managers to work harder for the collective goal of the organization.
The sentence structure is very effective and readability of the message is good. The vocabulary and statements used are very common and effective and impart the intended meaning onto the reader very effectively. The message is made clearer through the use of short statements that contain numbers and figures so it is easier to comprehend the message given in the mail.
Acceptable writing mechanics and the right level of language is maintained throughout the message. No grammatical errors or vocabulary misstatements are done and the message is complete in its language functions. All the facts stated seem to be properly verified as they are being given as standards to measure the current performances. Also, other details regarding the time frame of the intended response is given with due consideration to the amount of work that is required to be put into making the product a success.
The sender is very aware of the situation the respective restaurant managers are facing, and thus is considerate in his approach. The news of the product launch is brought onto the readers immediately, however later, consideration is shown by stating all the possible facts and figures alongwith the entire process of going about bringing the product to the customers. No expressions that show feelings of lack of concern are used, and the sender has made an attempt to bring in the mood of friendship and concern to the readers. At no time is the impression of enforcing the launch given, yet a compliance is taken from the reader by sharing with them the whole process of bringing the product into the market. The closing is friendly, and imploring, and the readers’ consent is desired for in the message.
Preparing an Effective Business Message:
Steps to planning Effective Messages:
- Purpose of the Message
The purpose of the message is the first thing that the writer of the message must identify, so that he is able to transfer the relevant information to the sender. The e-mail message under discussion clearly states its purpose, which is the launch of the new product at all the outlets of the KFC. The sender has delivered the message in an effective manner and clearly outlined what the desired action from the RM’s is, in response to this message.
Informative Specific Purposes:
The general purpose in the message is to inform the respective restaurant managers of the new launch. However, the specific purpose that is stated in the message is “launching their new Chicky Premium from 1st October, 1999”.
- Audience Analysis
The sender of the message has a clear idea of the people who will be receiving his mail. He is aware of their qualifications, the posts they hold, and their respective positions in the level of importance of their outlets, i.e. outlets generating the most sales to the least.
The language used is very specific and clear in its approach and the sender understands that the receivers will grasp the entire message that is stated in the mail. All the restaurant managers are identified as such, and are mentioned repeatedly in the mail, showing the level of importance being given to them, which is high.
- Ideas to be Included
The message is implicitly stating the launch of a new product. For this all the necessary information needs to be given to all the restaurant managers so that they can be better equipped to deal with the prospects of the new product. For this purpose, the sender of the mail has included in the mail all necessary information such as that related to the availability of the inventory at each outlet, the mode of marketing and channels used for it, the complete product specifications, so that the RM’s can identify with each type of product upon its arrival. The sales price of the merchandise, along with the expected sales figures for the stipulated time frame are also mentioned.
- Collect Facts to Back Ideas
The sender has gathered all the necessary facts and figures to support his ideas that he has presented in the mail. The expected sales forecasts based on the performances of another related product are given, so that the respective restaurant managers can match their actual performances based on these forecasts. Each respective branch figures are given which a careful analysis put in the preparation of the report. Also, facts related to the sales prices and marketing through ads in newspapers are given that lends further credibility to the seriousness of the issue.
- Outline- Organize the Message
An effective message is only completed when it gives an organized and planned look. If the reader starts to grasp the basic idea from the message himself and gets lost through the message, then the purpose of the message is lost. However, we see in this mail that the writer has organized the message very carefully and included information in a manner that is logical, chronological and each fact is supported by the relevant figures.
The paragraphs are set appropriately, with short sentences and each paragraph has only one thought and idea included in it so that the main theme of the message is not lost at any stage. The section containing the figures is properly broken down into respective headings, and each outlet is given a separate line to make it distinct in its purpose. Finally, the mail ends with a considerate close, followed by the name of the sender, so that a complete and authentic look is given to the message.
The general format of any message is required to be in a manner that conveys the message and idea effectively to the reader. For this purpose various techniques are employed, one of which is the AIDA plan.
This starts of with an attention grabbing statement followed by information that arouses a sense of interest in the reader. The reader looks for information that shows what benefit lies in the request for him. Next, the desire in the reader is created to urge him to take the indicated action that is given in the letter. In the final part of the message, the reader is urged to actually go ahead and take the action that was indicated previously.
The sender of the mail recognizes the importance of the information that he is sending as well as the urgency with which the desired action needs to be taken. The very first line of the mail states very explicitly what the whole issue is and is a very direct approach at gaining the attention of the reader. Obviously, as soon as the restaurant managers read the first line, they are riveted on the letter for the remaining part as the launch a new product is considered a very important event.
The remaining part of the mail builds up the reader interest by stating how each respective branch can actively participate to make the product a success. By giving the expected sales figures for the new product, an atmosphere of competition and urgency is created among the various restaurant managers, who now have a target to achieve. Hence, their interest now directly lies with their performances.
By giving every possible detail regarding the launch of the product, a desire and sense of being involved in the forming phase of the product is being created by the sender of the message. Every minute detail, from how each outlet gets the inventory to the pricing of the product and the possible means of advertising the product by the print media and banners, is carefully worded so that the reader can develop a bond with the whole team that is working to make this product a success.
Finally, the sender of the message will give a final word that impresses upon the reader to actually go out and perform the action. The sender in this case is ending his mail on a very friendly and encouraging mood, where the reader is urged to go all out to ensure that the product gets the best promotion and the highest level of sales can be achieved.
Format of the E-Mail:
The software, MS Outlook is used by the company to send and receive e-mails. The standard format of any e-mail message must contain the name of the sender of the mail, the person intended to receive the mail, alongwith the date the mail was sent. Also of importance is the copy notation, i.e. which other people are receiving the same message. Finally, and most importantly, the subject line is a must in any e-mail message.
Next part of the e-mail is the actual body or the text of the mail. It is started with the appropriate salutation, followed by a clear and distinct message. However, in most practical cases, it is seen that the tone of the message is very informal and most terms of respect are entirely ignored. This happens only when the relationship between the sender and receiver is of that nature that they can accept such informal attitude, this however is not recommended at any level of communication on the professional level. The e-mail ends with a warm complementary close in most cases, however the tone can vary according to the degree of affinity between the two people.
An Example from the Outlook Mailbox:
We see that all the required information, regarding the sender and receiver of the message is given in the top part of the paper. Obviously, no letterhead is used because the correspondence takes place through the computer terminals, and only as an addition the printout of the mail is taken.
The names of the receiver and sender of the mail are clearly mentioned at the top, while a long list of people who got the same message is also given out. The date of sending the mail is properly stated also, while the last part of the main menu, the subject line is also made very prominent.
The actual mail starts of with a mild salutation, also stating the intended people that would be receiving the message. The full block style with closed punctuation and left-justified format is used to write the actual body of the mail. Single line spacings between paragraphs is given and no indentations are made. The complimentary close is a single line below the last line of the mail alongwith the name of the person who is sending the mail.
Communication with Customers
Communication is incomplete with out proper feedback. KFC uses a variety of methods to communicate its products to the customers and clients. The major channels of communication used are:
- Suggestion form
- Association with other organizations
The most important type of feedback that can be obtained from the customer is by asking his opinion on the services offered at KFC.
The purpose is to build goodwill with the customers and obtain desired feedback from them. The question “How often do you visit KFC?” gives an indication of the frequency and the number of visits of the customer. Other questions like “What would make you visit us more frequently and “ what additional facilities and/ or menu items would you like to see added?” encourages the customer to give his suggestion and creates goodwill for KFC among the customers.
Rank of Preferences
The choices available to the customer range from Excellent to Poor. This provides the customer an opportunity to rank his preferences on a wide scale. The choices to be evaluated range from Quality of food, Store Cleanliness, Friendly service, Value for money and Overall experience.
This message is concise in its appearance, as the purpose is to obtain feedback from the customer and as to rank his preferences in certain order.
Positive, Friendly Closing
The ending question shows the clear statement of action desired by asking the customer for suggestions in serving them better. This also illustrates willingness to help further by asking for changes and suggests room for improvement. Indicating to the customer that he/she should drop the acrd in the comment box shows desired action. Reader benefit is illustrated by asking the customer about his name, address, and profession.
The menu displays the prices of the various combinations offered by KFC. The combinations are shown visually on the menu card, which are very tempting and appetizing for the consumer. The various options available are:
- Chicken-Original and hot and crispy
- Side Orders
KFC’s Double Deal:
The menu fulfills the informative function by announcing a double deal of 2 Masala burgers and 2 Register Pepsi. The same deal is also offered for 2 Colonel’s Subs and 2 Reg. Pepsis. The offer is valid only for KFC, Gulshan-e-Iqbal. The offer is a limited one with the purpose of increasing sales of KFC, Gulshan-e-Iqbal.
Introduction of Zinger Junior:
The appearance of the message is attractive. The hand holding the New Zinger Junior illustrates the appetizing appeal for the new product. The way in which Zinger Junior has been written with flames appearing from top entices the customer to try out the new product and looks very appealing. The background is very vibrant and radiant.
The message fulfills the informative function by informing the consumers of the new product. This was used in the different branches of KFC and created awareness of the new product.
Chicky Meal Poster:
The poster was designed to promote the chicky meal combination among the age group of different kids.
The poster is attractive and offers free chicky in action magnets on different combinations of chicky meals. Every week, a free chicky magnet is being given with the purchase of Chicky meal combo 1 or 2.
The poster shows a chicken in four different ways wearing the KFC cap backwards. Time for a break suggests relaxation. Relaxing Now a Days suggests a casual attitude. Just teasing man shows a carefree and a jovial nature. The love of my life is a cute magnet that suggests childish infatuation.
The desired action to be taken is evident from the message used in the poster which suggests to the customer that they should act on the message and buy the combination of either chicky meal 1 or 2. The scheme proved to be very effective and the company had to order the stock of magnets many times to replenish the inventories in face of strong demand.
Free Water Bottle poster:
The free water bottle poster fulfills the persuasive message being conveyed by the KFC. The emphasis is on the free water bottle being given by KFC for a limited time period of one month.
The poster illustrates the traditional Chicky Symbol used by KFC on a water bottle. The water bottle itself is quite handy to use and was introduces during June so that the children could take water or any other liquid with them to school. The bottle shows the chicky drinking water from the bottle, with the traditional KFC logo at the bottom.
Zinger Mania Poster:
Zinger burgers are one of the most popular products introduces by KFC. This promotional scheme was intended to boost the sales of Zinger burgers by offering 4 Zinger burgers in the price of three.
The poster fulfills the informative and the persuasive function of communication. It informs the customer of the new scheme by the name of Zinger Mania initiated by KFC and encourages the customer to act quickly and take advantage of the limited time offer.
The Poster illustrates the 3 Zinger burgers in an appetizing style. The way in which “Zinger Mania” is written suggests flames leaping out. The offer to save Rs.90 by taking advantage of the limited offer is tempting and encourages the customer to take the desired action. It also illustrates reader benefit, which in this case is the customer by showing him that he will benefit from the offer and save money.
KFC’s Bucket Poster:
Th poster illustrates the launch of KFC bucket. The occasion is festive as KFC targets the Eid occasion. The emphasis is on the traditional family values and the culture prevalent in Pakistan. This is an ongoing part of the marketing activities undertaken by KFC to promote its products.
The poster targets many variables. The main emphasis is on the free chicky bag given by KFC. The main appealing features highlighted in the poster are:
- 5 Liter Pepsi
- 2 Special Cakes from Harry
- FREE Reusable Plastic bucket
The reader benefits highlighted in this poster appeal the customer to take the desired action quickly and purchase the product. The poster illustrates the traditional Chicky symbol holding the free bag given by the KFC and illustrates a very attractive offer.
LIVE CASE STUDY
e Consequences of Breakdown in Communication within an Organization:
The Management at the KFC prides itself at involving all employees in the process of decision making and values their participation at every level for intelligent ideas. The employees and executives, all are encouraged to come up with newer and more intelligent ways to attract customers and enhance customer loyalty for their product. For this purpose, various employee motivation schemes and incentives are offered to the people working at the KFC to gain the most from their expertise. Just like all other aspects of managing a successful enterprise, like customer relations, quality control, marketing and finance, and media relations, the contributions from the employees have to be encouraged. The attitude of the KFC towards their employees is claimed to be one of great mutual understanding and trust. However, the actual practices carried out are contrary to the claims of the management.
The example under study is when an unnamed restaurant manager of an outlet at Defence tried to enforce the company policy, not only was he humiliated publicly by the persons present there at that time but also the attitude of the management was one of reprimanding the manager by seeking from him an explanation for his behavior. Certain youths at the named branch indulged in smoking in an area that was prohibited for smoking. First, the lower restaurant staff approached them to refrain from the behavior, and upon their incessant non-compliance, the restaurant manager came out to explain the company policy regarding their actions. The youth retaliated and beat up the restaurant manager.
Instead for getting praise for his efforts to enforce the organization’s policy, the restaurant manager was called up to explain his actions and was later transferred to another branch, from where he was later fired. That same restaurant manager now holds another senior post at another firm from where he is earning twice as much in earnings, and more importantly, is satisfied of his current position as opposed to his previous job held a the KFC.
The decision of the management is very biased towards their own employee, just so that they can project a more customer-oriented image to the public. Knowingly that the fault of the whole incident lied with the youth, the restaurant manager was held responsible for the whole situation, actions that speak louder than their claims of employee benefits and relationships.
One obvious reason for this the breakdown in the communication process between the management and the restaurant manager. The management has made no attempt at finding the facts and rather in a very hasty move, directly called the RM for explanation. The viewpoint of the RM even then is not accepted as is obvious from his immediate transference from the branch where the incident occurred. The obvious attempt here is to communicate with the customers and project to them a very concerned image for them, this even at the expense of a very senior person of their own organization.
The RM is not allowed to get through his point, which was enforcing the very company policy that the managers in the head office are managing. Where as the manual has complete instructions regarding the smoking issue inside the restaurant, the management is more concerned of its image rather than being knowledgeable about the clauses in the manual. Another communication fault on their part that has actually been highlighted through their behavior is their inefficiency in managing the information that goes outside the organization, especially managing crisis communication. The worst thing that can be given to the media is the ‘closed door’ attitude, i.e. no comments. This was exactly that was done by the management when the press media got involved to question the approach taken by the management. Even the other employees in the organization were not informed of the entire episode in its true form, and so a situation of distrust was built up amongst the various employees working at the KFC.
The summation of the case study is simply a point that emphasizes the importance of keeping open minds while dealing with issues that involve both customers and employees. Communications media should be open and the employees must feel secure that they would get heard when they take a stand for their organization. Each individual should in fact be encouraged to come forward with his own views and ideas and the layers of management should not be a hindrance in the way of lower level employees. The top management has to understand that after all, employees of an organization are as important to it than are its customers.