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What Your Small Business Can Learn From The Chicken Sandwich Wars

Over the past few weeks, you couldn’t turn on the TV or scroll through Twitter and Facebook without hearing about the Chicken Sandwich Wars between Popeyes and Chick-Fil-A. It trended globally, dominating thousands of news channels, generating long lines, and bringing hordes of customers.




It all started when Popeyes announced its new chicken sandwich, promising to excite customers with “barrel-cured pickles, a buttery toasted brioche bun, creamy mayo and buttermilk battered and hand-breaded chicken filet,”


Sound familiar? Chick-Fil-A thought so.


In turn, Chick-Fil-A tweeted out: “Bun + Chicken + Pickles = all the ❤️ for the original.”

Not skipping a beat, Popeyes responded with a simple: “… y’all good?



And so, the Chicken Sandwich Wars began, sparking a national debate and pitting loyal customers against each other.


But we’re not here to discuss which chicken sandwich taste better. What we care about is how a simple chicken sandwich became national news and took over our lives in a matter of days, making it a million dollar marketing win.


How much so?


Apex Marketing Group estimated that within 15 days, starting from the day the sandwich went on sale to the day it sold out, that it reaped $65 million in media value based on TV, radio, online/print news, and social media mentions.


The viral success is unprecedented considering Popeyes is only America’s 19th largest fast-food chain. But this success story also comes with some interesting facts that all small businesses can learn from.



Social Media Played An Integral Part

Business owners often don’t see the value in investing in a social media presence for their businesses, even though it’s been proven time and time again that it’s one of the easiest ways to reach an audience. Think about like this, 10 years ago, Popeyes would’ve never been able to get the attention it received, if it weren’t for social media. It’s an integral part of our society, therefore it should be an integral part of your marketing strategy.


You Don’t Have To Be Original, But You Have To Make It Your Own

Let’s face it, Popeyes didn’t come up with anything original. Chick-Fil-A had every right to question its so-called “new” sandwich, but at the end of the day, they are two different chicken sandwiches.


Many would-be entrepreneurs get stuck on the notion that their business idea isn’t good enough, or that their product is already readily-available on the market. But they’re missing the point. There’s room for everybody. Regardless if it’s something completely unique, or it might be your take on something old, the key is to go out there and put your business idea into motion.


Setbacks Are Not Failures

Some people have criticized Popeyes for running out of their chicken sandwiches so soon. Many have taken to Twitter to vent their frustration because they’ve sold out of their allotment that was expected to last through the end of September.


But what many of these customers don’t realize is that running out of supply is a good thing. It’s just good economics. Popeyes already released a statement saying that the chicken sandwiches will be back as a regular menu staple, and not just a limited item. And when they do, you already know that people will be waiting to devour them. The same can apply your business. A setback is just a comeback waiting to happen. It’s just a matter of learning from the setback and moving forward.


If you’re ready to take the next step in your business growth, reach out to us today to get started. DS&P is a one-stop shop for all your digital marketing needs. From website design to branding, online ads and social media marketing, our goal is to deliver superior service and generate success for you. Let’s start a conversation, and you never know—this can lead to a very profitable and rewarding future.

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