Taco Bell has been around since 1962, and they’re still going strong. They have thousands of restaurants around the globe, and serve more than 2 billion customers a year. One of the main reasons why the company is so successful is down to their sophisticated marketing strategies. Every social media post creates a buzz, and generates excitement that people don’t forget. They keep their customers engaged and curious by allowing them to do things like order their new secret menu item before it’s been revealed. Taco Bell understands that if you want to reach a large audience, you’ve first got to provide quality, and that’s exactly what they do. They’ve found what’s unique to their brand, and their relentless strategy has helped them build an extensive online and offline community. Here are some of the steps Taco Bell have taken to achieve this.
When it comes to their brand voice, Taco Bell is in a league of their own. Their competitors can’t touch them; when Taco speaks, you know without a shadow of doubt that it’s them. The question is, how did they get to this point? First, they know exactly who their target audience is, young, impulsive, and active. They chose their brand image and voice according to their demographics. Taco Bell are cutting edge, with a witty sense of humor. They know who they’re speaking to and use a language that their audience will understand. They’re big on banter, memes, emoji’s, and off the cuff conversations about tacos. They don’t try too hard, and have managed to strike the right balance between authenticity and giving their customers what they want.
In 2014 Taco Bells launched a new ordering app. To drive traffic to it, and get their customers to hit the download button, they shut down all their social media accounts. This innovative marketing strategy led to 300,000 downloads in 48 hours, and by the end of their 72-hour campaign, 2.5 million people had downloaded the app. Why did this unorthodox method of driving traffic to the Taco Bell app work so well, considering the fact that social media experts stress continuous audience engagement? Because it gave their community something new. It fostered curiosity, they wanted to know what the app was all about, if there were any new food items, discounts etc.
Taco Bell’s most recent marketing maneuver took place on university campuses shortly after the world was released from the COVID-19 lockdowns. To launch their new chicken sandwich, they asked, “What exactly makes a sandwich a sandwich?” Such discussions typically take place in the comments section of an Instagram post. But after 18 months of solely online communication, they saw this as an opportunity to bridge the gap between the online and the offline world. They brought the debate to a college campus which was featured on ABC during the Georgia vs Clemson NCAA football game. This was another genius idea, Taco Bell has managed to get an entire college campus engaged in a conversation, which in turn sparked a separate online debate.
Taco Bell’s marketing team is ridiculously creative, they’re not afraid to take risks, and most of their campaigns go viral. Their campaigns are unique and bold, but most importantly, they’re effective. They’ve blurred the traditional line between consumer and producer by encouraging their customers to get involved. They are renowned for posting pictures of their customers and highlighting their experiences with the brand. Basically, they let people know that they matter, and that Taco Bell cares about them.