Chicken Salad Chick Marketing

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Chicken Salad Chick - Historical Marketing Strategy

Chicken Salad Chick's marketing strategy before June 2016 primarily aimed to increase brand awareness through word-of-mouth, relationship, transactional, seasonal, and social media marketing efforts. The company's goal was to boost loyalty and sales by strategically engaging existing and potential customers.

Chicken Salad Chick's Target Market

  • The company's primary target market is women in the age demographic of 35 to 45. Women aged 20 to 30 are the secondary target customers. Finally, men and women age 55 to 65 represent the third target market.


  • Franchises are designed to help guests feel at home. Some features include bright green walls, colorful tablecloths, and employees with southern hospitality.
  • Each chicken salad is named after a woman that inspired the owner. The names, stories, and personalities help customers connect with the food.


Marketing Strategy

  • Grand openings strategically create excitement within communities through promotional contests. For example, the first person in line receives free chicken salad every week for an entire year. The next 99 customers in line get free chicken salad every month for one year.
  • These events implement marketing strategies to increase sales, spread brand awareness, and build customer loyalty. Furthermore, these strategies encourage word-of-mouth marketing.

Advertising Campaigns

  • In 2013, a "Voice of Chicken Salad Chick" Contest was held. The winner was featured in audio advertisements and received a gift card for a year's worth of free meals. The contest was geared towards the company's target market in the Southeast. Furthermore, the campaign sought to find a voice that could embody the charm and class of Southern cooking. This strategy helped solidify the brand identity as a place for those looking for southern comfort.
  • In 2015, the Chicken Salad Chick’s Craving Credits loyalty program offered customers a way to earn reward points via a mobile app. The Craving Credits app has exclusive insider information, the option to place orders online, and a map showing the nearest restaurants. This social media advertising strategy was used to increase the number of repeat customers.
  • An Instagram campaign was launched in 2015 under the hashtag #pickanewchick. The winner received a $5,000 prize, and their sandwich was added to the menu. Stealth advertising techniques enabled the company to promote a new product that the customers created themselves.
  • Prizes and giveaways take place during holidays, franchise openings, and special events — This type of campaign leveraged relationship and transactional marketing to build new and enhance existing customer relationships.

Social Mission

  • The company seeks to give back to the community through the Chicken Salad Chick Foundation (CSCF), founded in 2013. This charity provides funding for the American Cancer Society to assist cancer centers, food banks, and other regional programs.
  • Social media campaigns empower individuals to get involved by helping to feed hungry families.

Research Strategy

We examined the historical advertising copy from social media posts to assess the marketing strategy of Chicken Salad Chick. Next, we reviewed case studies, trusted media articles, and the Public Relations Campaign to gain deeper insights. The company's website provided information about their social media channels, franchise locations, and their charitable foundation.
The responses to these advertising copies revealed their impact as well as the techniques behind each campaign. Fans were particularly receptive to these campaigns, which led to the repetition of these strategies regularly. Posts older than 2013 were unavailable. The reason this information could not be found that Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook would not load posts earlier than this date.
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Chicken Salad Chick - Current Marketing Strategy

In social media advertising, Chicken Salad Chick focuses on creating a Southern favorite to a whole new level with 12 flavors of chicken salad served from the heart. Tom Carr, VP of Marketing for Chicken Salad Chick, says the brand's commitment to its purpose of spreading joy, enriching lives, and serving others have fueled its success.

Current Marketing Strategy

  • Chicken Salad Chick started as a door-to-door project by its co-founder Stacy Brown, which has become a more than a 100-location brand in 12 states. The company prepares 12 flavors of chicken salad daily and has captured a wide loyal customer base.
  • The company operates in the South region of the US where people love chicken salad.
  • The company’s target customers are women to whom 12 flavors of fresh daily variety of chicken is offered which tastes as good or better than what they can make at home.
  • The key idea of marketing is to focus on local marketing. The company’s idea was to focus on door-to-door marketing and to define the strategy of focusing on each local market and getting to know everyone in the same local community.
  • Chicken Salad Chick works with the purpose to spread joy, enrich lives and serve all customers. The restaurant targets customers to make them feel that their local Chicken Salad Chick is “their” restaurant because of the culture of friendly hospitality which is demonstrated by every trained team member committed to their purpose.
  • To create a positive impact on customers, the company is likely to give a positive impact on people with their philanthropic avenue. The company’s marketing effort focus on giving food-related charities by feeding needy families.

Video Advertising

  • Leah Blair of Chicken Salad Chick advertised on 12 flavors of chicken which the restaurant offers. She markets her products by mentioning different options available such as Classic Carol, Olivia's Old South, along with salads, sides, and soups.
  • As part of its advertising strategy, Stacy Brown of Chicken Salad Chick mentioned its marketing effort to offer the best chicken in town. People’s obsession with chicken helps the restaurant to grow its 60 franchises and 9 company stores. The company gives the message that it has tried to market its product all over US.

Social Media Advertising

  • On Facebook, Chicken Salad Chick focus on creating a Southern favorite to a whole new level with 12 flavors of chicken salad served from the heart.
  • Through its Facebook advertisement, the restaurant focus on Veterans Day Celebration and offers free Chick Special and drink to all the veterans and active military men.
  • The company focus on crafting its combination of sweet and savory ingredients with the secret blend of spices and seasoning.
  • The restaurant has planned to organize an event on November 12, 2019, to "ATL* Kids Eat Free Night with Elf on the Shelf" where kids can win a four-pack ticket to see Elf on the Shelf.
  • The restaurant advertised by offering “Double Points Day”. Consumers are attracted to earn 2 points for every $1 they spent on chicken salad.
  • As part of its marketing efforts, the company gives preference to some special days, i.e. National Dessert Day and #ThinkPink where customers are asked to chick sweet treat and to grab their favorite pink flower cookies respectively.
  • On its Instagram account, Chicken Salad Chick has advertised with the messaging, “We put an edgy twist on a southern classic”.
  • Another marketing strategy is when the company’s founder attracts football fans to spend the football season with "Chicks" and to collect all six cups featuring Kickin’ Kay Lynne, Rockin’ Rita, Sassy Scotty, Buffalo Barclay, and Fancy Nancy.
  • Its Twitter account has targeted customers with the messaging “Simple concept, a superb experience! Come check our variety of sweet, savory, and spicy chicken salads that we've created just for you”.
  • By opening new restaurant locations in Wilmington, the company, as its marketing effort, has planned to offer free chicken salad for a year to the first 100 guests in its location.

Print Advertising

  • lo + co design, an advertising agency, has published a print advertisement with the tag line "A Simple Concept, A Superb Experience" where Chicken Salad Chick ad was designed for the Florida dairy products association convention program. The brand published this ad with the idea to appeal to the male-oriented audience associated with tailgating in the South-eastern US.
  • The Chicken Salad Chick display design was printed by Collen Bassett, a graphic designer. The print advertisement focuses on telling consumers that Chicken Salad Chick has expanded its franchise locations throughout the Southeastern United States.
  • The advertisement clearly depicts that Chicken Salad Chick is the most delicious, with 15 flavors of chicken salad that one has ever tasted.

Statements Made by the VP of Marketing

  • Tom Carr, VP of Marketing for Chicken Salad Chick, says the brand's commitment to its purpose of spreading joy, enriching lives, and serving others have fueled its success.
  • Tom Carr, as part of its marketing efforts, brings strategic, creative, and innovative marketing across a diverse range of industries including entertainment, apparel, restaurants, consumer products, and media.

Brief Comparison Between the Historical Marketing Strategy vs Current Marketing Strategy

  • Chicken Salad Chick's marketing strategy before June 2016 primarily aimed to increase brand awareness through word-of-mouth, relationship, transactional, seasonal, and social media marketing efforts.
  • Post-2016, Chicken Salad Chick's marketing strategy focus on penetrating localized marketing and uses food samples that have been key to drive frequency to stay aligned with the local culture.
  • Post-2016 marketing efforts, Stacy Brown, the founder of Chicken Salad Chick, has changed its strategy and has inclined towards identifying leaders and influencers to have a way of introducing the food and brand.
  • As part of its current marketing strategy, the company tried to emphasize grassroots marketing by bringing the food to schools.
  • Teachers were asked to bring their excitement through word-of-mouth to the PTA, junior league, and other community groups.

Communication Channels

  • Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter are the primary communication channels of Chicken Salad Chick as part of its historical marketing strategy.
  • Post-2016 marketing efforts, the founder increased its presence in social media platforms with an increased number of promotional activities such as Veterans Day Celebration, ATL* Kids Eat Free Night, Double Points Day, National Dessert Day, and #ThinkPink.

Promotional Strategy

  • Historically, Customer Appreciation Day encourages customer loyalty. Grand openings strategically create excitement within communities through promotional contests.
  • However, the current promotional strategy focus on creating a loyalty program and its impact on customer engagement. The company offers a loyalty program through its app called Craving Credits to give the customers the value which is meaningful and relevant to them.

Research Strategy:

We started off our search to find the information regarding the current marketing strategies of Chicken Salad Chick by looking through its official website, then dig deeper into the marketing heads of the company along with the marketing messages it advertised on its wall. The sources mentioned information about efforts made by Tom Carr, Vice President of Marketing, to promote its brand in the US.

Next, we looked and checked the information on its social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter which highlighted that the company has increased its social presence in the last 2 years with the promotion of its events and plans. We also searched for the information on print advertisements done by 3rd party advertising agencies such as Adage, Adweek, lo + co design, and Collen Bassett in order to check the efforts made by the company for promotion of its product in print advertising categories.

From Part 01
  • "Throughout its 8 years in business, Chicken Salad Chick has grown a loyal customer base by providing its customers with consistent quality food and traditional southern hospitality."
  • "When you've been in franchising for over 30 years, you learn a thing or two."
  • "Hungry? We’ve got an App for that!"
  • "True to our mission of spreading joy, enriching lives, and serving others, we’re honored to have the ability to give back through our Chicken Salad Chick Foundation."