I usually have my two cents to throw in when it comes to what companies are doing . But recently Taco Bell has caught my attention and I’m amazed at how they’ve positively changed their brand image over the years.
They don’t have a “special sauce” that they advertise, but they certainly have a “special sauce” when it comes to their marketing.
They have had a few rough patches throughout the years, there’s no denying that. But instead of quietly disappearing into the background they’ve come back stronger and smarter than ever. How exactly? There are three points that I think need to be highlighted:
They Know Who They Are
Being genuine and true to who you are as a person gets your more friends, right? Same idea applies to brands. Taco Bell is a Mexican quick-serve restaurant, not a three star Michelin-rated restaurant, and they’ve accepted that. While other restaurants may downplay the fact they offer a drive-thru, Taco Bell proudly advertises it and it’s a rare sight if that line isn’t longer than the actual line inside.
Their food may seem basic and unrefined, but sometimes that’s exactly what you’re hungry for. For every upscale menu item they offer they have several good old standbys like: tacos, nachos, burritos, and quesadillas. They haven’t forgotten the staples that made them famous in the first place.
They Know Who Their Target Market Is
Other restaurants may have thought that only elementary and middle school-aged people ate Doritos. But not Taco Bell. They know that you’re never too old to enjoy this snack food and if they can recreate it and make it a part of the main course of the meal, even better!
They seem to be aware that their target market is those of us between 18-34 years old who know that eating healthy is important from time to time but we also enjoy having a taco or two… or three (or five or six, this is a judgement-free zone). Their ads further drive home this point by featuring this age group and demographic to create a feeling of belonging and that you’re in the “in crowd” if you know about their latest menu offerings.
Check out one of their latest ads by clicking here!
Did you catch the fact that the actor was using Instagram in this ad too? This app isn’t being using by grandmothers, but high school, college, thirty-year-olds? They’re using the popular app every chance they get. Taco Bell knows who their customer is and what they enjoy doing in their spare time- and yes, sometimes it includes taking pictures of food and putting #foodporn in the comment section for all your followers to see (we’re still in a judgement-free zone).
They’ve Got Social Media Figured Out
Some brands just beg to have their pages liked but not checked to “Show in News Feed” on my Facebook account. It could be that they post way too often, their postings are uninteresting or boring, or a horrible combination of the two. Taco Bell though has survived and still has a presence on my news feed when I log in. Why? Here’s a few of the postings they’ve made:
Their postings aren’t revolutionary or anything, just down to earth and nine out of ten times I chuckle when I read them.
Their Twitter feed shows that as a company you can promote yourself and people won’t unfollow you:
If you’ve ever read a blog or article about social media etiquette, then you’re probably aware of the 80/20 rule: 80% of your tweets should go to building your community and 20% is for promoting your brand. Taco Bell either isn’t aware of this rule or they’ve sarcastically avoided following it. Whatever their reason, their tweets gets a ton of responses and attention.
When people are on these social sites, they’re using them to connect with people, whether they’re friends, family, that ex from high school, whatever. People want to interact with people, not an emotionless entity. Don’t try to be your fan’s best friend, just be genuine and down to earth.
Taco Bell is by no means a perfect company, but they do seem to have a lot of things figured out when it comes to understanding their customers. They know who they are as a company, who their target market is and most importantly, where to go to talk to their customers. Not every brand should hop on board and start making tacos (well, you could and I’d be okay with that), but every company can certainly use some of their “special marketing sauce.”
Have you noticed the shift in Taco Bell’s marketing? What do you love about what Taco Bell is doing? Favorite menu item from them? Sound off below!