This San Antonio based company had opened three locations in Houston, all in demographically different neighborhoods. Their main competitor was Col. Sanders, with 11 Houston locations, whose marketing plan included prime time television. It was believed that the fried chicken business was primarily a nighttime and weekend business.
This situation triggered the birth of our MediaMax research tool. The company had no marketing information of any kind, and each store had its own demographic profile. By interviewing the customer base, as well as non-customers, we discovered that the Church's customer had a buying pattern much different from what had been believed. Since Churchs menu allowed the purchase of single pieces, customers were eating lunch as often as dinner at Church's.
Radio advertising was scheduled to run just prior to lunch times and during evening drive times. Mid-day commercials talked about buying one or two pieces of chicken and evening drive spots sold family boxes.
Church's began taking market share from hamburger fast food outlets at lunch and Col. Sanders at night. Sales doubled within six weeks. After 24 months, Church's had grown to 26 outlets in Houston while Col. Sanders had only 14. During the next five years, The Carson Group directed Church's advertising in 26 markets, including a joint venture with Friendly Ice Cream, a unit of Hershey's.