22 years is a lifetime, especially in the advertising world. Companies chew through advertising agencies at a fast and furious rate as they try to find a way to tell their brand’s story.
Chick fil-A struck gold. Actually, they struck cows.
The Richards Group came up with the idea of using cows to tell us to eat more chicken. It’s been the story of the fast food company for over two decades, and it’s worked. The relationship between Chick fil-A and The Richards Group is an example of success.
More than 1,900 locations generated over $6.7 billion in 2015. Sales increased over 18%. Thanks in part to the storytelling power of cows, Chick fil-A generates more revenue per location than any other fast food chain.
Alas, it’s time to say aloha oe to the grammatically incorrect cows that for years found ways to tell us to “EAT MOR CHIKIN.” Chick-fil-A has decided to part ways with The Richards Group.
According to Chick fil-A’s relatively new chief marketing officer, Jon Bridges, the cows “aren’t the brand. The brand is bigger than that.”
Tell that to the cows. Chick fil-A doesn’t own their brand. It exists in their customers’ minds. What storytelling about Chick fil-A is in their minds? Cows on billboards. Cows on TV commercials. Cows on the web. Cows on Facebook and Twitter.
The bovine-themed stories Chick fil-A has told for the past two decades positioned the fast food chain in our minds as a chicken-not-beef place to eat. It’s a simple story, beautifully told. The cows never cease to be funny. Cows have that peculiar power. Cows that can’t spell helped shape a brand that’s become the 8th largest fast food chain in the country.
This is the power of storytelling. But…what happens to a story when you remove the storyteller?
So sayeth the Stick Monkey