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.


  1. Branding is bigger than ever on the web as well. The rumor is that Google even configures brand value in their search algorithm based on how many people type in your brand name.

    awesome post!

  2. The new GIGO:
    Garbage Incentive = Garbage Outcome


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