Global Expansion Case Study: Taco Bell

Taco Bell is arguably one of the most famously recognized brands not only in the United States, but on the international playing field as well. The company has worked establish itself as more than just a place for quick meals, but also for snacking and late-night stops, targeting a younger consumer base.

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Taco Bell has made a deliberate effort to utilize their social media marketing channels in order to successfully appeal to this younger demographic. They have been extremely successful with this in recent years, and these are a few reasons why this has been the case.

  1. Personality

The brand is not afraid to be playful across social media platforms They joke with their consumers, or respond to existing posts with clever remarks, which prompts consumer engagement across these channels. Often times their posts go viral as well, which is an added benefit to them, as the public is sharing their content for them, thus increasing their reach without any additional work on their part. Younger generations appreciate this sense of humor, and it shows.
2. Utilizing Social Media Influencers/Celebrity Endorsements

The brand has further widened its social media presence by appealing to various influencers and celebrities. For instance, after Chrissy Teigen got married, the company sent her not only a ring but also a handwritten letter, which she then shared on her personal Instagram account. This allows Taco Bell to reach consumers that are not directly tied to Taco Bell on social media in any way, which is a strong move on their part.

3. Mobile App

Taco Bell introduced its new mobile app in a rather unique way: the company essentially put all of its social media activity on hold, except for a single promotion of the app, across all of their platforms. This ensured that the new app would be the focus of their marketing, and consumers would not miss it. This tactic clearly worked for them, with this becoming one of the most downloaded apps within Apple’s category of “Food and Drink” only a day after it launched.

These are some of the ways in which Taco Bell has increased its social media presence in recent years.

Global Presence

The brand’s presence does not stop outside United States borders, either. Just recently in 2017, the company decided to increase its focus on international expansion in four key markets, as a part of their goal to increase annual sales by $5 billion by 2022. This entailed opening up at least 100 restaurants in each of their targeted markets: Brazil, Canada, India, and China. These markets were chosen primarily because of their high populations, as well as a prominence of youth culture.  

On top of their increased focus on social media, they are attempting to create an community feeling in these international markets by appealing to the local cultures in which they reside, and by utilizing culturally appropriate artwork. They also want to design stores with open kitchens and more digital menu boards.

“Innovation on our menu and building design, along with social experiences, is going to fuel our growth.”

– Liz Williams, Chief Financial Officer of Taco Bell

They also want their menus to remain dynamic and innovative. Their introduction of the famous Doritos Locos Taco has been an example of that in the company’s recent history. They have also started offering healthier offerings, higher quality ingredients, and even breakfast options.

These are the main ways in which Taco Bell intends to grow, both domestically and internationally.