The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

5 March 2005

Buckets of brand identification

Costa sends along some thoughts before lunchtime at the Colonel's:

Technically, the restaurant in question is no longer called "Kentucky Fried Chicken", and hasn't been for years. Corporate officially changed the name to strictly KFC in order to get away from any perceived regionalism / redneckedness. Yes, it's a lame move, and in fact lots of franchises across the country still have "Kentucky" up on their outdated signs. But that's the corporate line.

Of course, some of your rumormongers believed it was because KFC was vending some unspeakable non-chicken products on the sly. And in some circles, the very word "fried" might be considered a pejorative.

I don't have extensive experience with Kentucky — two visits — and the only Kentuckian I know personally has relocated her sweet home to Alabama, but for the life of me, I can't think of anything particularly dislikable about the Bluegrass State. Then again, as a person of Midwestern birth who grew up in the South and now lives among the cowboys, I've never been able to work up enough arrogance to look down on other states. I mean, if I put my mind to it, I could probably say something nice about New Jersey.

But perhaps Kentucky gets more respect in the rest of the world:

In a slightly related note, a friend tells me that KFCs in Holland have maps of the US on their walls, with Kentucky highlighted and a pointer arrow on it.

I do hope this practice doesn't catch on at Taco Bell.

Posted at 10:18 AM to Almost Yogurt

Duh... Where would the arrow point to on a Taco Bell map?

Posted by: MikeH at 12:14 PM on 5 March 2005

That's the whole point: I don't want to know.

Posted by: CGHill at 1:25 PM on 5 March 2005

I mean, if I put my mind to it, I could probably say something nice about New Jersey.

That's because you're not a New Yorker. I kid, I kid! Parts of New Jersey are actually quite nice. It's not all Tony Soprano-land in Jersey. The horse country is really quite beautiful. It is called the Garden State for a good reason, although if one's only familiarity with Jersey is Newark and environs, one wouldn't know that.

Actually, I just thought that KFC changed its name for the same reason FedEx finally did. To recognize the fact that that's pretty much what everyone called it.

Posted by: Lesley at 12:08 PM on 6 March 2005

I've spent about ten days in NJ over the past four years, and only the time stuck in beach traffic on the Turnpike I consider wasted. :)

Posted by: CGHill at 12:55 PM on 6 March 2005

I went to Kentucky a few years ago, May 2001. I thought the stretch of countryside between Lexington and Louisville some of the most beautiful I had ever seen.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at 7:07 PM on 6 March 2005

When Glenn Bell originally owned the chain (source of the name), they were based in Southern California. They used to deep fry their burritos after assembling them to order.

Posted by: triticale at 8:13 PM on 6 March 2005