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Chick-fil-A Topples the Colonel
By: Cindy Wendland
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Kentucky Fried Chicken was long the king of chicken. Not anymore. Chick-fil-A, with fewer numbers of stores, has surpassed them as the leader in the fast-food chicken market with sales of over $5 billion. In addition to fewer stores, Chick-fil-A is even closed on Sundays, so they garner more sales in only six days a week.

Chick-fil-A has great chicken sandwiches. When eating at the mall food court, we thought Chick-fil-A would be healthiest choice of all the options. Not sure that was the case, but it made us feel less guilty eating our lunch. Always thought it was odd they were closed on Sundays, but respected their decision when we learned it was faith-based.

Branding is all about your values and personality. The Chick-fil-A brand takes a stand and doesn’t bow to pressure to be open on Sundays or to do things according to the competition. This is remindful of the past Thanksgiving shopping season when Nordstrom and Costco stood their ground and stayed closed on Thanksgiving. It was a branding business decision.

There are other branding business decisions worth looking at. Oprah decided to partner with Starbucks because she valued and respected the stand their CEO Howard Schultz took on issues that were not latte-related. She respected his personal brand. Hobby Lobby is battling it out in the courts because of Obamacare contraception coverage requirements and the owner’s religious beliefs. They also are closed on Sundays.

Crossing the sea to Europe, consider how a French company doesn’t bow to contemporary business pressures and still closes in August. Berthillons, the glorious ice cream maker, should have a lot of sales on hot August days. They don’t, since they are closed and on holiday. Yet, they are still a profitable business.

If you offer a quality brand and stand for your beliefs, you can still do well in business. Whatever side of the issue people fall on is less important than the fact they are firmly willing to state their beliefs and let it guide the company. Finally.

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About the Author
Cindy Wendland has a background in marketing and finance. She is the creative director for an online men's health magazine, BrainBrawnBody.com, and she gets to write their leisure/travel blog. She is also a web designer helping her clients with online community engagement, websitesbywendland.com. Prior to her web years, she worked in pharmacy consulting.
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