This individual project assignment is worth 15% of your total grade for this course. The due date for this assignment is final day ofWeek 8, 11:59pm.

You may not reuse work that you have submitted in a prior course, either at UMGC or elsewhere for this assignment. Please be aware this assignment will be submitted to Turnitin.

Project Two – A new customer for KFC?[1]


This individual project assignment is worth 15% of your total grade for this course. This assignment is to be completed individually and independently. No student collaboration is allowed. Consultation with UMGC Writing Tutoring or the UMGC Writing Center is allowed.

This assignment will require approximately two weeks to complete. The due date for this assignment is the final day of Week 8, 11:59pm. The Departmental Late policy for late submissions is found in the Grading Information area of your syllabus.

The rubric including all grading criteria is found within this assignment. Be sure to review the rubric before, during, and after your project to ensure you address all criteria.

After successfully completing this assignment, you should be more confident in your ability to understand how marketers make decisions. You also should be able to appreciate the marketing process in terms of its relationship to the overall strategy of the organization.


Your marketing firm, MRKT600, has been approached by a new client, KFC, the restaurant chain also known as Kentucky Fried Chicken.

Recently while two of its closest competitors have been feuding on social media, KFC initially seemed sidelined in the so-called chicken sandwich wars (Yaffe-Bellany & Sedacca, 2019).

In August 2019, Popeyes introduced a new chicken sandwich product with a tweet. That tweet almost immediately received more than 35,000 likes, retweets and comments (Heisler, 2019). Within a week Chick-fil-A responded to Popeyes tweet with something similar about its own chicken sandwich product, and the fight was on. Other competitors tried to get in on the action, but this was a two-bird fight between Popeyes and Chick-fil-A (Heisler, 2019). In a marketing coup, Popeyes claimed to have sold out of the menu item completely within a month (Maynard, 2019).

However, KFC had a surprise of its own. Also in August 2019, KFC debuted a new menu item – meatless chicken nuggets and wings – at one Atlanta outlet; inventory of the meatless product sold out within five hours (Maze, 2019). KFC became the first major U.S. restaurant to test the meatless chicken concept (KFC becomes first, 2019) and continued to experiment with the meatless idea in more than 100 locations (Pershan, 2020).

For KFC this is larger than just diverting attention from the chicken sandwich wars. KFC had been falling further behind its faster-growing rivals in terms of sales and growth. For example, as of 2017 KFC had its name on twice as many restaurants as Chick-fil-A, yet those KFC outlets generated only half the amount of annual sales as Chick-fil-A (QSR, 2018).

On the heels of its recent success with meatless chicken, KFC engages your marketing firm to validate a possible new direction. KFC is considering a change in marketing strategy to compete against the “healthy fast food” restaurants, and attract a new customer to KFC. To do that, KFC needs a serious understanding of where KFC fits in the “new quick serve world” and what the “new” customer wants.

Here are the questions posed to your firm by KFC:

  • Is KFC only competing against Popeyes and Chick-fil-A? Or is KFC already competing against different players in the fast serve dining space?
  • Is there a new (e.g., health-conscious) customer KFC could attract or would meatless offerings simply promote product switching behavior among existing KFC customers?
  • Would it be profitable for KFC to develop/offer healthier products and market itself differently?

Assignment & Format

You have been asked to research and prepare part of the report that would be ready for the first follow-up meeting with KFC. This assignment requires a minimum of 7 recent (none prior to year 2015) quality sources. The best sources for this assignment will be trade publications and journals for the industry[3].

This is a professional memorandum that you would submit in a marketing setting. Communicate your results in a Word® document as a professional memorandum. Address this memo to your boss, the VP of Client Development; give that person any fictional name you wish. This document should be single spaced.

Include these required sections in your memorandum.

  1. KFC Company Background [1 page or less ]

Describe briefly the company in terms of the assets (number of company owned and franchised restaurants), sales/revenue data, number of employees and other macro facts of interest. Stick to the facts here; do not include any opinions in this section. Do give a robust analytical description. Are sales up or down? Over what period of time? Hint: make this section current rather than a historic view of the company. KFC is aware of its origin story – don’t include that.

  1. Situation Analysis [~5-8 pages]
  1. Marketing strategy. Discuss current marketing strategy. What is working and what is not. Discuss changes the client is considering. How might those changes impact marketing strategy?
  2. Products, pricing & distribution. Discuss categories of KFC offerings and any pricing issues. How is product delivered to the customer? Sit-down restaurant? Full-service? Quick service? Drive-thru? Web ordering? App? Include any available new product info.
  3. Customer. Who is currently the KFC core customer? Who is likely to be the customer for a healthier product such as meatless offerings?
  4. Value Proposition. Discuss this from the core customer’s point of view. What features/benefits of KFC are important to the customer? Then, discuss from the potential new customer’s point of view.
  5. Competitors – define & discuss KFC competitors
  6. SWOT analysis or Perceptual Map – SWOT of KFC or Perceptual map of competitors identified above
  7. Business Climate – what is going on in the business world that potentially affects KFC’s proposed marketing strategy?
  8. Critical issues. Discuss issues the client has raised and also any new issues from your independent research.
  1. Insights & Conclusion [1 page] – what was learned from this work? Should KFC pursue the new marketing strategy?
  2. Reference list (must be in APA format)

It’s time to begin your research. These resources should be helpful as a start.


Writing Resources

In marketing, clear communication matters! Therefore 20% of the grade is devoted to writing and format. UMGC provides resources for students who wish to obtain assistance with writing. Any student in this class may register for Writing Tutoring through the link in the classroom. Simply click on the link and register. There is no charge for the writing tutoring service and it is available for the duration of the course. See Course Resources > Writing Tutor Registration for details.

A professional memorandum or memo generally follows a standard format.

The APA reference list video (<10 min) is about formatting the reference list. It also looks at several different types of references – all from online sources – and how to cite those in APA format.