Customer Engagement


5 Ways Yum! Brands Is Optimizing Customer Experiences on a Global Scale

Team Braze By Team Braze Feb 22, 2023

From KFC to Pizza Hut, Yum! Brands is working cross-brand, cross-market, and cross-functionally to deliver best-in-class customer experiences at scale in 155 countries and territories. That’s no easy feat, and it takes thoughtful coordination. That’s something Ashley Travis, KFC Head of Global Product Capabilities at Yum! Brands, and her team have led the charge on. At FORGE 2022, the Braze annual customer engagement conference, we had the chance to connect with Ashley to learn more about the steps her organization is taking to ensure teams work together more effectively.

Here’s what she shared with us.

#1. Sharing learnings cross-brand

Facilitated by Braze, global leaders from Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, and KFC convened a Yum!-it—that is, a summit to share best practices with one another.

“That was huge for us, and it helped us realize, ‘Hey, we need to do this more often,’” Ashley said. “We’re starting to create more forums to share best practices and learn from one another because we’re all in such different stages of maturity; KFC being newer in the digital space, but Pizza Hut has had delivery and CRM and online ordering for years, and Taco Bell is doing really great things with loyalty that we can learn from.”

It takes time to share learnings, but it’s worth it, Ashley explained. “It allows you to learn and advance more quickly.”

#2. Facilitating community across markets

With a global presence in 155 countries and territories, Ashley said her team’s job is to foster a sense of community across the world. Her team regularly convenes:

  • Monthly forums for representatives from every country to join together to share best practices, learnings, and capabilities

  • An annual marketing planning meeting where teams from every country share their plans and insights on what’s worked well

These ongoing meetups allow the organization to “do a lot more than each individual market could do on their own,” she explained.

#3. Putting a cross-functional strategy in place

A focus area for Ashley’s team is figuring out how critical groups—including digital, marketing, operations, and store development—can work together to improve the customer experience across every single touchpoint.

Since Yum! Brands has a presence in so many countries, they’ve found success by piloting initiatives in one or two markets before rolling them out to the wider company. Currently, a couple of markets are piloting different ways of working together using agile marketing methodology to see if that helps these different parts of the organization collaborate more effectively in a cross-functional way.

#4. Creating a global center of excellence

Yum! Brands has created a global center of excellence that has established four key priorities for launching marketing initiatives:

  • Acquiring best practices and learnings from every brand, every market, and the industry at large

  • Adopting those best practices by piloting new initiatives in test markets then driving further adoption within other markets and franchises

  • Adapting strategies as needed in ways that make sense at the brand and market level

  • Accelerating efforts to drive results

Because 98% of the Yum! Brands is made up of franchises, the marketing team can’t simply mandate that markets adopt a best practice—they have to influence this decision making, which can be hard, Ashley explained.

That’s why they follow the 80-20 rule, with a goal of having 80% of efforts standardized to facilitate learning and scalability, while leaving room for 20% flexibility for markets to ensure relevance at the country level.

#5. Including team members in the process

Ashley recommended taking the time to understand brands’, markets’, and teams’ biggest challenges, what their needs are, and how you can help them achieve their goals and using these insights to build processes to ensure buy-in at every level.

This way, everyone feels heard and that these processes have been designed to help them, not become yet another thing they’re required to do, Ashley explained.

Find out how enterprise organizations like Yum! Brands are leveraging Braze to deliver personalization and improve the customer experience. Get our guide Under the Hood: Delivering Personalized Messages for Every User at Scale to learn more.


Team Braze

Team Braze

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