When you decide to start a campaign to give away a free product or service, make sure you can handle the effects and make sure you are checking your back. Check your inventory, staff, profit margin, etc. to see if it’s a viable option.
CASE IN POINT: KFC “UNTHINK” NEEDED TO “RETHINK”
KFC just recently started a campaign to “unthink” the name fried out of their name. They are now offering grilled chicken. As seen on Oprah (I’m not sure the details of this since I don’t watch Oprah), the fast food giant decided to start giving away 2 pieces of chicken, 2 sides, and 1 biscuit for two weeks (excluding Mother’s Day).
From a press release on their website:
Following an unprecedented and overwhelming response to a free offer of a Kentucky Grilled Chicken meal, KFC has announced that it can no longer accept the free coupon at this time, but that it will introduce a rain check program to take care of inconvenienced customers.
Now I doubt that people are going to look at KFC with the same attitude because they aren’t going to want to go through all the trouble of getting a rain check on a discount. You never know – it’s free food.
I actually participated in this and the store I went to was absolute chaos. People were being helped in front of me and behind me to catch up on the orders and there was a 10 minute wait time for the new grilled chicken – so much for “unthinking” it as they started handing out ANY kind of chicken. This completely looses the entire base of what the promotion was about.
Even when/if they have this new two week run of a free meal, since it is two weeks, they will probably have the same issues as before.
CASE IN POINT: DOMINOS FAKE PROMOTION BECOMES REAL
Dominos had considered running a promotion and then changed their minds. Unfortunately they forgot to remove the promo code from their online ordering system. Someone typed in the code by chance and by the end of the night there were 11,000 free pizzas ordered from the site.