Dave Thomas, the founder of the successful fast food chain, Wendy’s, worked at KFC prior to Wendy’s and was responsible for the red and white striped chicken bucket design.
During his time with Colonel Sanders, Dave worked tirelessly to help create brand recognition, understanding that the more the customer believed in your brand, the more loyal they would be to your business. Dave recommended that KFC trim down their menu so that the company could focus on a signature dish that would distinguish them against their competitors. He also thought up the red-and-white-striped chicken bucket and the revolving sign designed to look like the bucket. He pressed the Colonel to appear in more commercials for the brand, believing that if the consumer knew and could relate to him, they would be more likely to develop an affinity for the brand.
Colonel Sanders got fired from a dozen jobs; was a lawyer who once assaulted his own client in court; started a restaurant that when went out of business and found himself broke at the age of 65. That’s when he started KFC.
Colonel Sanders, as he got older, wasn’t a fan of KFC. According to the Consumerist, in the 1970s, Sanders commented publicly that KFC’s gravy reminded him of “sludge” and the mashed potatoes of “wallpaper paste.” KFC ended up suing its founder, but lost. Why? In part, because, as the court found, “the assertion that the chicken served by Kentucky Fried Chicken Corp. was not prepared exactly according to Sanders’ original recipe was not defamatory. It is almost inevitable that at least slight deviations would occur. Indeed, prospective customers would expect that.”