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ATLANTA, GA, July 17, 2019 /24-7PressRelease/ -- It has been only two and a half years since Church's Chicken® embarked on a brand turnaround led by CEO, Joe Christina, and the brand is seeing unprecedented sales and transaction growth. The recent brand momentum is fueled by a new, fully integrated marketing campaign for the re-launch of one of the most popular limited-time-offers in the brand's history, Bourbon Black Pepper Smokehouse Chicken.
Christina says the secret lies in the brand's winning combination of good-old-fashioned hard work and no-nonsense messaging. "When we started on the path to make Church's a dominant global player in the fried chicken category, we were determined to lead with our strengths. In our case, that has always been the quality, taste, and skillful preparation of our food," Christina explains.
Church's is exceeding comparative sales figures during the first half of the Smokehouse Chicken promotion with +4.2% in sales, and recent transaction growth has been commensurate. These results are even more impressive as they are comparatively performing over strong sales of last year. While much of the QSR industry is seeing negative customer counts, Church's customer counts have been positive year-to-date which have been the spark for 14 of the last 17 weeks of positive same-store sales.
"The response to Bourbon Black Pepper Smokehouse Chicken has been unprecedented," adds Chief Marketing Officer for Church's, Brian Gies. "In fact, for as long as we've been measuring the success of limited-time-offers, nothing has outperformed Bourbon Black Pepper Smokehouse Chicken; the sweet and savory flavor combination, delivered in the abundance of a half chicken, has made it our most popular promotional product. We are seeing double digit comp sales and traffic in many of our ultra-competitive chicken markets, like the Carolinas, Atlanta, Chicago and New Orleans, where over 100 Smokehouse Chickens are being ordered in the average restaurant daily."
High Impact Ad Campaign and Media Strategy Breaks Through
As evaluated by Ace Metrix, Church's new advertising campaign was #1 among fried chicken brands year-to-date when compared against other brands' commercials airing during the same period. The Bringin' That Down Home Flavor™ TV campaign aired across the country and was part of a new, fully integrated traditional and digital media approach to re-introduce the perennial brand to consumers.
The Bringin' That Down Home Flavor™ campaign features the fresh, contemporary look and feel of Church's that dials up the brand's culinary skill and personal authenticity. TV spots are shot in a test kitchen environment with close-up camera work highlighting fresh ingredients and careful preparation – the same way meals come together in Church's restaurant kitchens.
The TV ads featuring the Bourbon Black Pepper Smokehouse Chicken indexed at Ace Scores of 661, significantly above the category norm of 583. Critical component scores for the TV spot outperformed the QSR and Chicken category averages in Attention, Likeability, and Desire to Purchase. Franchisees are experiencing record sales and traffic growth, even more notably in markets that historically haven't received media coverage. In fact, the media impact has changed consumer behavior in a market where summer traffic indexes lower than other parts of the year. Noor Samji, a multi-unit Franchisee in Phoenix, stated they historically don't invest in media during this time period since sales dip in their hottest months saying, "We are now experiencing double digit growth, and wouldn't have known that to be possible during summer if we hadn't changed our media strategy to drive awareness across all of our markets."
Accompanying the new national TV campaigns was an omni-channel approach, inclusive of radio and digital media. Gies commented, "Our significantly enhanced media strategy expanded the universe of who we're targeting with a Church's message. Casting our broader net to an evolved target has proven itself this year by driving positive and profitable traffic growth. It's turning the brand on to new consumers, while reminding our core guests of new reasons to visit." The program is being measured by actualized in-store visits to allow for real time optimization and retargeting to reach each new potential guest with the right message at the right decision point for their next meal.
The positive product and advertising sentiment has also been prevalent in social media and guest feedback responses.
Actual guest comments that show the love of the promotion:
• "One word – Awesomesauce"
• "Heaven on earth, just like Grandma's Chicken"
• "Bourbon Black Pepper [Smokehouse] chicken was delicious. I hope Church's will add this meal permanently."
"This strong performance is a reflection of our decision to give guests a direct look at what makes Church's so flavorful, so enjoyable, and so special," says Christina. "They know exactly what to expect from us, and we deliver – or over deliver – on that expectation with each and every visit."
About Church's Chicken®
Founded in San Antonio, TX in 1952 by George W. Church, Church's Chicken® is one of the largest quick service restaurant chicken chains in the world. Church's® specializes in Original and Spicy Chicken freshly prepared throughout the day in small batches that are hand-battered and double-breaded, Tender Strips®, honey-butter biscuits made from scratch and freshly baked, and classic, home-style sides all for a great value. Church's® (along with its sister brand Texas Chicken® outside the Americas) has more than 1,500 locations in 23 countries and international territories and system-wide sales of more than $1 billion, and is on pace to achieve its plan of more than 70 global new restaurant openings in 2019. For more information, visit www.churchs.com. Follow Church's® on Facebook at www.facebook.com/churchschicken and Twitter at www.twitter.com/churchschicken.
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