Staff Reporters
Jun 29, 2020

Asia-Pacific Power List 2020: Annabel Fribence, KFC

Being brave and quick to adapt is the key to success for Fribence and KFC, as both want their marketing as hot and fresh as the food served.

Asia-Pacific Power List 2020: Annabel Fribence, KFC
Asia-Pacific’s 50 most influential and purposeful marketers

Annabel Fribence

KFC Asia

As the CMO for KFC Asia, Annabel Fribence understands the frenetic pace of change, and as a marketer, she emphasizes adapting quickly to those changes.

KFC has evolved its image dramatically in the past few years as a future-facing QSR brand that isn't afraid to adopt new technologies. Perhaps nowhere is this more evident than in China, where KFC has applied everything from facial-recognition menu-ordering to mobile-controlled restaurant jukeboxes to gamified ecommerce pocket stores.

But change is not limited to technology and can be just as important in relation to consumer behaviour. During the pandemic, KFC paused its finger-licking fried chicken advertisements to try to remind people about the importance of hygiene. Recently, when the lockdown lifted in Malaysia, KFC launched a Spotify playlist to serenade customers back to its stores.

Fribence joined KFC Australia in 2013 as marketing director and within five years was promoted to the chief marketing officer role for KFC Asia. Before joining Colonel Sanders, she gained useful experience at Pernod Ricard and McDonald's as a marketing manager.

Fribence always thinks from the consumers' point of view when planning campaigns. In one interview she argued marketers must be better at dealing with change. She says a brand like hers needs to be creative in communication because sometimes the customer will "only engage the brand through Deliveroo".

How to capture people's attention in the short amount of time, and more importantly, to turn that impulse into purchasing power, is what Fribence strives for. "We need to be the pirates in the organisation," she told WARC, advocating that the marketer's role is to push the business forward, be creative and brave.

Asia-Pacific’s 50 most influential and purposeful marketers


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