three reasons i’m betting on taco bell’s waffle taco
If you’re like most Americans, you probably never thought about tacos for breakfast (other than tacos from Jack In the Box at 4 am after a night out, right?!) Well, that’s about to change as Taco Bell introduces the Waffle Taco on Thursday.
The Waffle Taco is part of a complete breakfast menu and represents the newest effort to capture sales at what has been an elusive daypart for the chain. Taco Bell has tried breakfast offerings in the past, but none have broken through.
Here are three reasons why I believe this time will be different:
- Taco Bell is playing to its strengths. The Waffle Taco is the perfect product for the brand’s target audience: Millennials. Made of eggs and sausage or bacon and served in a waffle with a side of syrup to drizzle over it, the product is quirky, fun, indulgent, portable, and different. It’s likely to score high on crave-ability and share-worthiness (more on this in a moment) among young adults who are looking for something fresh and new. It’s also an innovation that capitalizes on previous new product concepts – tacos with innovative carriers (e.g., Doritos Locos Tacos). Other items on the new menu include burritos and an A.M. Crunchwrap, other signature products that the brand is known for. Equally important is that the company is not emphasizing coffee. While it will offer a proprietary coffee blend, it understands that trying to compete with Starbucks and McDonald’s on that front just doesn’t make sense.
- Taco bell is using packaging to extend the experience beyond the product. As reported by Maureen Morrison in Ad Age, according to Chief Marketing Officer Chris Brandt, the packaging for the Waffle Taco will look different from the normal taco wrap – it will be “Instagram-worthy.” By innovating in the packaging, the chain demonstrates the understanding that great brands express their brands in every touchpoint and that the experience of product extends beyond the product itself. I expect the packaging will incorporate some sort of call to action that will make the eating the product fun and an occasion to share with friends, the way the DLT packaging featured a QR code that linked to shareable video content. As such, the product will be even more valuable and differentiated.
- Taco Bell is using social media to fuel awareness and affinity. The chain is tapping the vast and passionate social network it has built over the last couple of years. With its DLT campaigns, it learned how mobile and social interactions can drive a successful launch. So it’s been conducting a teaser campaign including the following posts on Twitter:
Hey Chicago. Let’s take a break from this winter and kickstart summer. We’ll tell you more at noon on 2/26. #LetsGo
— Taco Bell (@TacoBell) February 25, 2014
Are you sold on the waffle taco? pic.twitter.com/BBJ3Prytp9
— ashton kutcher (@aplusk) February 25, 2014
I normally don’t make fast food predictions because the industry moves so quickly. But it seems like Taco bell is doing all the right things to generate trial. And if it gets the pricing right, and if it executes well — two very important “ifs” — then it will finally have a sustained success at breakfast.