KBP Brands, an Overland Park, Kansas-based Yum Brands’ franchisee, is rolling out an SMS and mobile wallet digital marketing program at its 847 KFC locations across 28 states. The announcement follows a successful test at 162 restaurants in five states, which began in December.
The program is powered by Vibes, a unified mobile messaging platform that also works with companies like Chipotle, Polo Ralph Lauren and Lego. KBP’s test included unique promotions offered to customers who were then rewarded for repeat visits or opting into the SMS program. It also delivered real-time, targeted messaging, such as limited-time promotions, local menu tests, and hours of operation. According to a release, the test yielded 30% month-over-month subscriber growth.
“Our goal has been to drive profitable sales, localize our marketing to compete more effectively and deliver increased value to our guests,” Tonya Mangels, vice president of marketing activation, KBP Brands, said in a statement. “We’re moving fast to expand our SMS and mobile wallet program with Vibes because of strong consumer engagement, impressive ROI and ability to be regionally relevant in a timely manner. The text-to-enroll program is low risk, easy for consumers to join and delivers immediate advantages.”
According to Vibes, 99% of text messages are opened, versus less than 20% of emails, while its mobile wallet can drive downloads of loyalty cards and supplement brands’ apps. As such, other chains, including McDonald’s, have leveraged SMS messaging to customers.
During parent company Yum Brands’ investor day in December, KFC CEO Sabir Sami hinted at a national loyalty program rollout this year, but in December, a KFC spokesperson said this Vibes/KBP collaboration was not a part of that plan.
KPB operates nearly 700 KFCs and nearly 200 Taco Bells in 28 states.
Contact Alicia Kelso at [email protected]