On Brand Identity

I’ve been thinking a lot about brand identity, and a recent trip to Taco Bell had me laughing about brand identity. They’ve recently introduced “The Drive-Thru Diet”, featuring their Fresca menu. The Fresca menu highlights items with under 9 grams of fat, which is pretty low for a Taco Bell meal. However, “The Drive-Thru Diet” takes it a step further, promoting Taco Bell as a healthy option on your road to weight-loss. WHAT!?!? Hold on a minute… Taco Bell as a weight-loss option? Excuse me while I laugh again at that thought.

It may sound harsh, but does anyone really believe that Taco Bell is a viable option for weight-loss? No. And, quite frankly, Taco Bell should be glad for that, as they’ve spent millions on ad campaigns for late-night meals, and cheap convenience. I loved their “Fourth Meal” campaign and drive-thru windows that stayed open late, and feel that both of those promotions held true to the brand. I just worry that they are putting a lot of effort into something that will ultimately fail because it doesn’t hold true to their brand.

I’m sure Taco Bell has a good reason for launching this new promotion. My thought would be that they are trying to appeal to health-conscious mothers who are trying to feed their children and themselves on short notice. My next thought was that New Year’s Resolutions might offer the perfect opportunity to introduce this new line.

There are always opportunities to move into new markets, but you need to think carefully about what your brand stands for, and how people perceive your brand. If you depart to heavily from the brand identity you’ve cultivated, you may alienate your core audience. So, how many of you are planning to use “The Drive-Thru Diet” to reach your New Year’s Resolutions?

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