How Big Brands Win: Taco Bell's Dominance

History of the Taco Bell Logo

Americans love Taco Bell. So much so, that according to The Harris Poll EquiTrend Study of 2018, Taco Bell was voted the number one preferred restaurant by consumers.



However, beating out other southwestern styled chains like Chipotle, Baja Fresh, and Del Taco shouldn't be a surprise. In fact, Taco Bell's success isn't a riddle, or a mystery, or an enigma. Rather their Double Decker® Taco Supreme represents a fitting metaphor for their achievements. With its crunchy shell taco, wrapped in a burrito, packed with a marketing strategy that plays on their brand's strengths, the Taco Bell Double Decker® Taco Supreme embodies all that is great about their brand.


Social Media Served the Right Way

Many brands struggle with getting their audience to suspend their disbelief and forget that behind those posts is a social media manager who is being paid to market products to them. Especially among millennials, who crave authenticity over traditional advertising marketing tactics, having an online presence that feels personal builds a stronger connection between a brand and its loyal fans.


Taco Bell’s Instagram has over 1.2 million followers. They crush their competitors’ digital presence because theirs doesn’t feel like a stuffy corporate advertising platform, but more like a friend who is really into Taco Bell. Many of the photos are from a first-person perspective, with hands grasping food, ready to bring tacos and burritos up to an unseen hungry mouth. There’s not the detachment that comes from poorly lit photos and empty advertising language rendered in generic typography. The secret sauce for their social media strategy is that you imagine that you are that person holding Taco Bell in your hands, at a "fiesta for one" with a bag full of warm Tex-Mex inspired goodies.


Another relevant example of their social media savvy – in honor of Cinco de Mayo 2016, they created their own Snapchat lens that turned their taco obsessed fans’ heads into tacos, resulting in 224 million views in a single day. Taco Bell also showed their dedication to all that is hard-shelled and crunchy by petitioning for a taco emoji, which through their efforts became a reality. Talk about being the change that one wants to see in the world – at least in the world of tacos.


Getting a Lyft to the Taco Bell Drive-Thru

Along with celebrating their brand across various digital platforms, they’ve also jumped on emerging technologies. Lyft users can request “Taco Time” which will have a Lyft Driver make a stop at the Taco Bell drive-thru on their ride with the option to place an order inside the car. Some of these Lyfts are emblazoned with tacos and other Taco Bell branding. For those with the late night munchies, this is the type of innovation they wanted their entire lives. For those Lyft drivers responsible for those hungrily devouring Taco Bell en route to their homes, we can only imagine that these are the Lyft driver elite, like the Navy Seals, disciplined and ready for any worst-case scenarios involving nacho cheese and upholstery that may come their way.


Giving Their Customers What They’re Hungry For

The culinary alchemists at Taco Bell have made many Tex-Mex inspired creations materialize from their cauldron of taco meat, cheese, and beans that satisfy our cravings for carbs. But they’ve also made efforts to offer healthier alternatives outlined in their blog post 7 Commitments Taco Bell is making in 2019, with better quality ingredients as well as vegan and vegetarian options. They’ve brought the popular combination of Taco Bell and alcohol even closer together with Taco Bell Cantinas in select cities serving spiked Freeze beverages as well as other adult drinks along with their favorite menu items.


Taco Bell’s current marketing isn’t about radical departures, but rather honoring who they are and what has made them such a beloved brand. And for those who are fans of their food, it makes asking for, “Uno Más” that much easier of a decision. 



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