You heard it here first. The CEO of Taco Bell says traditional marketing no longer works in the restaurant industry. He says brands must become “publishers” and tell their own story. Greg Creed says companies must engage and train their employees about the power of social media and use the power of their crew to amplify the brand experience. When Taco Bell rolled out the Doritos Locos Tacos Cool Ranch they gave each of their 150,000 employees five free taco coupons to share with friends.
Taco Bell also maintain a “fishbowl” of brand stories from social media, other brands and employees. Through the monitoring of social media, the company found out about a rumor that a Taco Bell was headed to a small town in Alaska. The company was able to capitalize on that opportunity by helicoptering in a truck to serve an estimated 10,000 tacos to Bethel residents. Creed admits that this strategy takes the control out of the hands of the traditional brand managers. But Taco Bell weathered the recent photos of a taco-licking employee very well.
Creed also says food should no longer be marketed as fuel, but as an experience. Consumers are looking for unique flavors and combinations that are exciting and fun, not just something to fill their belly.
Take a look at your marketing. What methods do you have in place to capture the stories of your brand? How are you engaging your employees to amplify your brand. Old marketing is dead, long live the new marketing!