Think Outside the Brand Box: Taco Bell Takes Heat Over Diet Menu

Ah, yet another example of an “advertising” brand trying to apply the rules of advertising to the new digital realities of social media. Okay, let me ‘splain this you you guys one more time…the rules have changed.

We are no longer living in a brand and control world. You cannot just craft the message you want and relentlessly pound people over the head with it until they succumb.

The consumer is in full control and they have one expectation: L-I-S-T-E-N! Oh, and one more thing, the consumer’s expectation is that you respond IMMEDIATELY to what they are saying.

I have a friend and business partner who was complaining to me this morning about the fact his Comcast-provided internet had gone out several days ago. He called. “Ya, we’re aware of it. We have equipment ordered and it’s been delayed due to the holidays. We’ll get to it.”

“Okay, but, why is this my problem” he’s thinking. Excuses.

After several days of trying to run his internet-based business from his home without any internet, he took to Twitter with his complaint. Still no satisfaction.

“But I thought Comcast had exceptional social media listening and responding capabilities. I’d heard they were one of the best,” I said.

Apparently not.

Nope. Nothing. Nada.

You see, the reality of the digital world is we now expect these nameless, faceless, megalithic brands to listen to us. And, now that we all have mobile devices that are always on, always connected to our communities and getting status updates and Tweets and FourSquare updates…we not only expect brands to listen, we expect you to DO SOMETHING about what we’re saying!

The future belongs to those company’s that can listen and then do. It’s that simple. Get your MBA at Northwestern, Wharton, Harvard, Dartmouth or even the University of Phoenix…but, just remember those two simple things…listen…do something. They may not teach that at business school. But, they do in the real world.

Advertising: Taco Bell Takes Heat Over Diet Menu – Advertising Age – News.


About Scott Cone
A husband to a loving, lovely wife. Father to six great kids and two grand kids. I'm a marketing, advertising and promotion professional with a keen interest in big ideas, all things digital and especially how mobile is changing all aspects of communication and marketing. I play guitar and sing, write music, write screenplays, act, scuba dive, weight lift, ski and enjoy Christian apologetics, logic, evolution versus intelligent design and the basis for morals, values and ethics.

3 Responses to Think Outside the Brand Box: Taco Bell Takes Heat Over Diet Menu

  1. @mackphoto says:

    Comcast *did* have good social media response time. About four months ago I encountered a similar issue and must have burned through half a dozen tech reps on the phone, each one more non-interested or lacking the appropriate knowledge to help. I spent two days calling and troubleshooting. Nothing could be done. Oh, okay. Fine.

    I get on Twitter and Facebook and started crowing. I swear, within 30 minutes I had @replies and my phone was ringing to schedule a custom visit to my home to address the issue.

    It was truly amazing. But yeah, that’s their tendency, I agree.

    • Scott Cone says:

      Hmmmm….seems one of my pals is having a more Comcastic experience than the other. Maybe they’ll monitor this and give him some love.

  2. Debra Ford says:

    Great post, Scott. Tom Asacker has been talking about this forever. As a brand strategist from way back I adhere to the brand. But, what has always failed most marketers is that listening to the audience and developing a product which a consumer wants should have always been part of a brand equation. Marketers for too long have adhered to a “push-out” strategy. Craft a message and deliver it. Nope. Nada. That’s not how a true brand experience is crafted or successful. Keep up the good work. Love the blog.

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