Taco Bell “Live Mas”: How Tapping Into The Right Brand Archetype Can Lead To A 13% Same-Store Sales Increase.

In 2011, Taco Bell had hit a low in terms of sales and relevance among its core audience, Millenials. Historically, the brand had embraced the Jester archetype (“Think Outside The Bun”) positioning itself as an alternative to burger-heavy offerings. While this was relevant and reflective of culture in the 90s and 2000s this approach didn’t reflect the values of a newer generation of experience-seeking consumers. It also didn’t reflect people’s evolving attitude towards food, i.e. from food as fuel to food as an experience to be enjoyed, discovered and shared (for those old enough to remember, that was the time when people started posting their meals on Instagram?)  

This prompted Draft FCB, Taco Bell’s agency at the time, to recommend evolving the brand from a Jester to an Explorer archetype, inviting people to venture out of the norm and try new foods and experiences (which was perfectly aligned with the prevailing food culture at the time). The Explorer archetype was also described as being more reflective of the brand’s core, history and equity (in fact, Taco Bell pioneered Mexican-American fast food, the first fast food value meal, the first crunchy taco, etc., etc.).

This new strategy and archetype evolution led to the “Live Mas” campaign which was launched with the “Road Trip” ad (shown below) which captures the real story of a super fan who travelled 1000 miles to the closest test market to try to the Doritos Locos Tacos.

As a result of this re-positioning and new campaign, Taco Bell’s same-store sales increased by 13% (instead of the planned 4%), the brand re-established its role as a leader in culture and increased its relevance amongst its audience (“a brand I love”).

Looking at your brand positioning through the lens of brand archetypes is one of the 26 proven effective positioning strategies we explore in our positioning development methodology and a highly effective way to re-position and grow a brand.

Please check out my new book, The Brand Positioning Workbook: A Simple How-To Guide To More Compelling Positionings, Faster“,  available on Amazon around the world as Ebook, Paperback and Hardcover.

Mark Jenson, lecturer at the University of Minnesota Hubbard School of Journalism and Mass Communication describes it as hands down the best book on brand positioning since Ries & Trout introduced this concept many years ago”.  Jill Baskin, CMO @Hershey’s says This book is packed with easy-to-follow exercises that guarantee a compelling brand positioning. Lots of helpful examples and blessedly free of marketing catchphrases. Highly recommend”. 

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