Why Popeyes Is Positioned to Be the Next Great Brand Marketer

The chicken chain is entering a new era

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It’s been called the Great Chicken Sandwich Twitter War of 2019, but this week’s fast feud was just the opening battle.

Popeyes, a nearly 50-year-old fried chicken chain generally known both for its good food and spotty service, has long lagged behind global leader KFC in terms of size and behind Chick-fil-A in terms of customer experience. (KFC boasts about 4,000 U.S. locations, while Popeyes and Chick-fil-A each have about 2,400.)

So how did this sleepy brand, whose advertising has traditionally been regional and forgettable, suddenly explode onto the scene this week as a major marketing player?

While Popeyes’ longtime, loyal fans—especially within the culture-defining collective of Black Twitter—deserve much of the credit for turning the brand’s chicken sandwich launch into a viral phenomenon that has led to long lines and sold-out stores, the brand has also been positioning itself for just such a moment.




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