Monday, January 14, 2013

Additions and Changes : The Taco Bell Philosophy

Today, after work I went to go get lunch, and I will admit it, I am a creature of habit when it comes to ordering lunch. No matter where I go, I usually end up ordering either the same thing, or something really similar. But I digress somewhat, I get to the drive thru ready to order my typical box deal (which may be the best deal in the history of fast food for college kids). 

So I pull up, and to my dismay (and later joy) they had changed the box from the burrito, taco, drink and 5 layer burrito to a burrito, taco, drink and loaded grillers. I began to think why Taco Bell feels the need to always change the box, and then I realized it. The box has become a method for Taco Bell to introduce new additions and changes, it's a genius philosophy we could all learn from. 

Let me explain:

Several years back, Taco Bell introduced the Crunchwrap Supreme, and it flopped. Then, they came out with the 5 dollar big box. It came with a crunchwrap supreme, burrito supreme, hard taco supreme, cinnamon twists, and a large drink. It was a phenomenal deal and a genius marketing ploy. The crunchwrap supreme became a hit overnight because of it. Then, Taco Bell took the box, something everyone loves, and instituted it as a vessel of change.

The box has been around since then, varying in price from $5 to $5.49 but always in that price range. Shortly after it's release they dropped the cinnamon twists and the large drink became a medium drink, but the box was here to stay. Then the change began. 

  • When the "Volcano Menu" came out they replaced the crunchwrap supreme with the Volcano Taco (which introduced the awesome effect of the hot cheese and the Volcano Nachos became a constant on the menu)
  • Then the Doritos Locos Taco came out, they replaced the Volcano Taco with it and the Locos Taco became a cult favorite.
  • After that, the Beefy Crunch 5 Layer Burrito came out and replaced the Locos Taco and it introduced that effectively. 
  • Taco Bell teeter tottered the 5 Layer and Locos creating a demand for both of them.
  • Today I drove up and saw their new Loaded Grillers being introduced new (and I am sure you know what was the third item in the box). 
So after I got my griller I realized the trick. Taco Bell has taken something that everyone loves (The Box) and changes the one thing that isn't a staple periodically so that 
  1. People don't get attached to it
  2. People learn about new items
  3. People accept change and newness because of their attachement to the over hanging idea.
So here's the lesson. When introducing change, don't over haul everything. Stage it in steps, keep the staples, and press forward. If you are open to frequent change, it doesn't give time for people to get attached to the things you might want to change.

Live Mas.


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