June 27, 2011

Taco Bell and Social Media

A full 3% of fans took advantage of the free offer.

Social media advocates offer excuses for why this didn't work, or blame the brand/victim for failing to implement social media best practices.  Social media critics blast this as a epic failure of the medium.

The reality, of course, is that this isn't a success, and it isn't a failure.

It just is.

There are no shortcuts.  The internet era, the search era, the social era, and the now burgeoning mobile era all promise shortcuts to success.  Just employ a channel, and sales will naturally follow.

In the meantime, we've forgotten how to build a brand.

Honestly, I cannot even believe that I'm saying this.  If only you could have seen me in the 1990s ... I struggled with brand marketers, folks who I perceived wasted other people's money trying to "build a brand".

The importance of creating a reason for a customer to shop with one of our companies seems to have been lost in the channel-based get-rich-quick easy-ROI climate of the past decade.

There has to be a reason why the customer would choose our company over numerous competitors.

Now, if you want to have some fun, ask a member of your Executive team a question today ... ask them to, in one sentence, describe why a customer should buy from your company instead of any of a thousand competitors without using the words "quality", "value", or "service".  If they can do that, quickly, then they have a good feeling for what your "brand" is.

Facebook + Free does not equal Success.