How KBP Brands and Vibes Drove Strong Consumer Engagement, Impressive ROI and Regional Relevance

KBP Brands needed a route into mobile that could help them drive profitable sales, localize their marketing and deliver increased value to guests. They turned to the Vibes mobile engagement platform as their trusted partner across 847 restaurants.

Key Results:

30%

month-over-month subscriber growth

3x

subscribers per-store

KBP Brands is a leading restaurant franchise group with a clear vision: to create a great place to work, a great place to eat, and a great place to own. KBP Brands is one of the largest franchisees in North America, and they operate ~1,000 KFC, Arby's and other leading restaurants brand franchises across 31 states.

The Challenge

KBP Brands had been looking to enhance their regional marketing efforts with innovative, mobile-first tools to win customers effectively and drive sales, with trackable results and solid ROI. Recognizing that traditional marketing such as local print ads and digital marketing hasn't been quite sufficient to meet their goals, KBP leaned into mobile marketing initiatives, and specifically SMS and mobile wallet, to help boost their revenue, customer engagement and in-store traffic.

KBP believed that mobile programs had the opportunity to offer more flexibility in terms of creative, messaging and timing — a flexibility that has become increasingly important to marketers after the pandemic, and as economic uncertainty has loomed. By comparison, print media buys can take months to come to fruition and digital media buys sometimes take weeks, ultimately offering less flexibility than rapid, real-time SMS.

After looking at various alternatives, KBP Brands turned to Vibes as their mobile engagement platform partner to help boost their local consumer engagement, increase their in-store traffic and grow loyalty at its KFC restaurants through the delivery of timely, personalized messages

The Solution

The KBP and Vibes program initially started in 2022 as a pilot that would test a SMS and mobile wallet program at 162 participating KBP-owned Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurants in Texas, New York, New Jersey, Oklahoma and Arkansas. “We wanted the ability to activate compelling messaging quickly based on our restaurants’ unique needs,” said Tonya Mangels, Vice President of Marketing Activation at KBP Brands. “The quick-service restaurant industry is highly competitive, and SMS marketing is a cost-effective tool that will help us both attract new customers and retain current customers.”

With Vibes, KBP Brands was able to provide KFC customers with real-time updates at the right place and right time, ranging from local store changes such as hours of operation to menu tests and limited-time-only deals, which encourage customers to visit and repeat business.

The 162-restaurant pilot program was deemed successful in a matter of months, and in 2023, KBP announced a significant expansion of its partnership with Vibes by expanding to a rollout in all 847 KBP-owned KFC restaurants across 28 states.

"Our SMS and mobile wallet program with Vibes has given us strong consumer engagement, impressive ROI and the ability to be regionally relevant in a timely manner. They truly help KBP Brands cut through the clutter and give us the flexibility and turnaround time that we need to be more competitive."

Tonya Mangels
Vice President of Marketing Activation, KBP Brands

The Results

Strong financial results and 30% month-over-month subscriber growth, with an effective tripling of subscribers per store - primarily through word-of-mouth and in-store POP only – is what led to the pilot with Vibes being expanded into a full 847-restaurant launch.

KBP Brands now has an “always on”, 52-weeks-a-year tool that can instantly reach consumers across their 847 KFC restaurants through SMS and mobile wallet, by sending targeted messages to local audiences based on menu preferences, pricing tier, demographics, and competitive factors. Importantly, opting-in to participate in the program reduces cannibalization while increasing the value proposition by giving KBP the ability to target offers to consumers that choose to participate. Customers opt-in to the KBP Brands text program by simply texting the word DEALS to 25899, at which point they receive an instant offer and new specials weekly.

The results and ease of enrollment speak for themselves. “Our goal has been to drive profitable sales, localize our marketing to compete more effectively and deliver increased value to our guests,” said Mangels. “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.”

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