The “You Don’t Need Us Awards,” Part 4 – Chick-Fil-A

I’ve written about Chick-Fil-A’s fans before, but for our fourth addition to the ‘You Don’t Need Us’ awards, along with USAA and Arborwear, is an incredible company doing SO many things right.

So what does Chick-Fil-A going for them? A lot. Besides a Net Promoter score of 72% (which is rockstar status), they have legions of fans as evidenced by 333,400+ mentions in blogs, or the 8,300+ flickr images, or the 1,120 YouTube videos or even the numerous tweets praising the joint.

So what generates all that love? How about a consistently great experience with a consistently great product. How about a healthier alternative to Burger King and McDonalds. How about they believe in something (many things) bigger than themselves like being closed on Sundays (they believe that nobody can work 7 days a week and still be the best ” ‘you need at least a day to recharge your batteries,’) the foster homes they’ve created and the huge support they give to college kids.

Talk about a company who knows who they are and what they stand for. Wow. Chick-Fil-A is it. Started in 1946, and credited with inventing the boneless breast of chicken sandwich, the company now has 1340 locations in 37 states. And through all that growth, they have found the magic sauce to keep their product and experience above question.

And personally, I hope they never need us.

Is anyone else hungry?

  • Russell Fisher

    Well, I wish I had this to read yesterday when I wrote about Chick-Fil-A ( and USAA. It’s amazing that a company can generate such a following when it is “just” fast food (wait, I guess In-And-Out and Cafe Rio are fast food too, but still).

    Not being a Chick-Fil-A customer, I didn’t know about the 6 days thing. Good for them.

  • Chris

    Couldn’t agree more! Chick-fil-a sets the bar when it comes to fast food. I dare you to have a bad experience!

  • BIG Kahuna

    I’m sure Chick-Fil-A is great but when you throw out fictious numbers to support your article…well that’s not.

    Blog mentions, net promoter score, tweets, YouTube vids…intersting spin. I see it another way:

    Now the last two paragraphs of your article where you’re talking about branding. That makes sense. No need to toss around bogus numbers prior.

  • Spike

    Scott, you’re so funny.

    I merely wanted to point out how many people were talking about them. Do you need a dictionary? Fictitious means “fake,” a term I’m sure you’re very familiar with.

    As for sales:

    “Fast food chain Chick-fil-A is boasting of another strong year in 2007, saying sales were up 16 percent.

    The privately held, Atlanta-based chain also said this year will feature an “aggressive” launch of several new menu items.

    Chick-fil-A, which did not report a net income figure, said sales hit $2.64 billion last year. Same-store sales, a key measure of retail strength that looks at revenue gains in stores that have been open for at least 12 months, rose about 8.5 percent.”

    -Source: Triangle Business Journal.

    On another note, Scott, I’d like to remind you of something you said on this very blog in response to this post:
    (You remember, the one when you were called out for copying the Brains on Fire website?)

    Here’s what you had to say:
    “As a branding agency I was kind of surprised you would bash a competitor. Even if what you were saying were true it only makes you look bad to talk poorly about someone in your industry.”

    And this:
    “You seem to spend a majority of your day blogging. Unfortunately I am way too busy for that. Maybe spend more of your day pursuing new business and mainting your current clients. Branding applies to everything you do (as you should know). So by speaking poorly of our company you in turn make yourself look unprofessional.”

    Funny, funny stuff.

  • BIG Kahuna

    Once again, I’m sure Chick-Fil-A is great but using bogus numbers to support that was not. Every one of those stats you put up is bogus.

    And of course I remember your original post from 2005 and then again in 2007. How could I forget? You repost it anytime I disagree with you. It’s all you got for any type of meaningful response.

    Here it is again:

    Spike, get used to people rejecting or opposing your views. It happens all the time. Your response by reposting that old thread has nothing to do with what we’re talking about.

    Anyone can repost old news:

    Sorry you don’t like my opinion on your analysis. But it’s just an opinion.



  • Spike

    Man, oh man, you make me laugh. Thanks for providing resistance to the movement.

  • BIG Kahuna

    Well, I could be one of your “great post Spike” readers or I can be the resistance. I’d much rather rebel and resist! But not all the time, just when you make no sense.

    Net Promoter, Blog Mentions, YouTube Vids, Flickr photos? Now that’s funny!

    Happy Monday!

  • Christy

    The funniest part about this exchange is that Scott is debunking the use of statistics to make a point. First, he requires some ROI numbers; when Spike provides them, he slams the methodology.

    *I* don’t believe statistics, as a general rule. That said, I’ve delved into many statistics reports for things like multivariate tests, and sometimes the numbers don’t lie. But, mostly they can be manipulated to show whatever you want.

    I’d rather look at the stuff that BoF is *excellent* at noticing… the fact that the business is growing (who cares by how much?? it’s their own race), people like it. Chick-Fil-A isn’t harming anyone, so we’re not defending Kwame Kilpatrick, the Detroit mayor who so obviously has done bad stuff.

    We’re splitting hairs here, holding each other to increasingly higher standards. While I’ve enjoyed the banter between you two, I think this exchange has just shown that maybe it’s time to give it a rest.

    Unfortunately, Scott does hit on a couple of flaws in the stats, but in doing that, he’s destroyed the whole point of the post — Chick-Fil-A has a purpose, and they live by it. I admire that. Other people do, too. If you don’t, you’re not required. No one has asked anyone else to agree wholeheartedly.


  • BIG Kahuna

    Christy, you’re a bright bulb. Please understand the intent wasn’t remotely about Chick-Fil-A as I don’t know them at all. I’m sure they are wonderful.

    I really believe in research and branding. So I get all worked up (some call it passion) when it comes to things like the Net Promoter Score. That’s all.

  • Christy

    Was I clear that I think bashing the technique by splitting hairs like this just makes me blindly jump to the other side (Spike’s)? You both have points, but, frankly, I see Spike offering up a peace symbol by including statistics. Now you claim they’re the wrong ones. Can anyone win this?

    I understand why research is good. I don’t understand why we all have to argue about which statistic proves that a campaign is successful. Did the client like the end result? Good ’nuff for me.

    Then again, I’m not on a tropical island, sipping mimosas all day long.

  • BIG Kahuna

    Well, if you ever make it to beautiful St. Thomas I’d be honored to have a mimosa with you (although we all drink Cruzan Rum there). Disagree with me anytime!

  • Billy

    Great post, Spike.

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