25 December 2010

The Most Popular Christmas Dish in Japan

I've just returned from a family vacation in Japan. One of the intriguing things I noticed on my last day in Tokyo, was a long line forming outside -- of all places -- a Kentucky Fried Chicken outlet.  That night, my curiosity was further piqued by an incongruous TV commercial that caught my eye, touting KFC -- of all things -- as a signature Christmas meal.

Curious, I poked around the Internet today, and discovered an amazing story: that KFC has found significant success in Japan by communicating the simple, single-minded message for over 20 year-end seasons that a KFC meal makes Christmas.

Consider these stats: Same-day sales in the week leading up to Christmas are about 500% more than average daily takings. And KFC stores apparently start taking Christmas orders in October. In a land that offers the world's best sashimi, teppanyaki and sukiyaki, I'm amazed that anyone would prefer a bucket of trans fat-laden fried chicken ... 11 secret herbs and spices notwithstanding.

As a student of strong brands, I can only conclude that when you take the long view, when the art of brand management is applied with discipline and consistency, anything is possible.

And on that note of optimism and hope, I wish my sole follower (and all other anonymous readers) a merry Christmas and finger lickin' good year.


Jay Soo said...

Hey David, i hope you never stop writing. I love the articles, and you should consider putting them in a book. Happy New Year! Jay (your humble fan).

dshaw said...

Thanks for your kinds words, Jay.
Best encouragement to kick off the new year.
I'm going to have to work harder to keep earning your support!