5 Inspiring Brand Concepts from Taco Bell CEO Greg Creed


The 17th Annual UCLA Restaurant Industry conference was recently held and Taco Bell CEO Greg Creed – an Australian who sells Mexican food to Americans – delivered a humorous, refreshingly transparent and insightful keynote with some inspiring food for thought (no pun intended): Two key insights for any brand

  1. Current customers want you to be better
  2. Potential customers want you to be more relevant
Keep these two concepts in mind when doing strategic and tactical planning.

Think platform vs. product
Taco Bell’s launch of the Doritos Locos Taco has put them on track to double their revenue in the next 10 years (amongst other tactics). The single sku is a $700 million annual business. Doritos Locos is a platform and it has no direct competitors. It initially launched with nacho cheese and then cool ranch however there are over 123 Doritos flavors worldwide -- the extensions are endless. A key piece is Taco Bell treats each flavor as a new launch… not an extension of the previous flavor. And, Taco Bell engages all of their employees to prep for key launches – they create brand advocates from within the organization.
Think outside the bun Super Bowl ads usually are 30 seconds, with beautiful, young people. How did Taco Bell stand break through the clutter this year? 60 seconds with old people behaving badly. Taco Bell embraces breaking the rules. The commercial has received hundreds of thousands of views since the Super Bowl airing making the best of list for most publications including the Wall Street Journal and New York Times.
It’s not all about sales The upscale Cantina Bell brand in collaboration with Lorena Garcia which features feature black beans, cilantro rice, citrus and herb marinated chicken has brought back the women segment. While it only represents 4% of overall sales, Cantina has had a halo effect on the quality and perception of the overall Taco Bell brand.
Inspiring close Creed closed the session with this thought: “There is no standing still. You’re either going forward or backward. If you’re standing still, you’re going backward, as others are going forward.”   How are you moving your brand forward?    

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