TacoBell takes the influencer marketing route

The Marketing Head says the brand plans to make India Taco Bell’s largest market outside the US

e4m by Dolly Mahayan
Updated: Aug 1, 2019 8:26 AM

Mexican fast-food restaurant chain Taco Bell recently signed a master franchise partnership with Burman Hospitality Private Limited (BHPL). BHPL will open 600 Taco Bell restaurants in India by 2029. 

As majority of quick-service restaurant (QSR) brands are focusing on metro cities and fighting for the same set of consumers, Taco Bell India doesn’t wants to take the same route.

According to Sambit Dash, Marketing Head, Taco Bell India, the Indian QSR space is largely untapped when it comes to Mexican-inspired cuisine. The brand is focused on opening new restaurants across India, including tier 2 cities such as Mysore and Kochi.’

Dash says Indian consumers are increasingly aware of global food trends and are willing to step out and explore new cuisines. “The brand aims to expand exponentially over the next few years. Our plan is to make India, Taco Bell’s largest market outside the US,” he affirms.

Talking about the new marketing techniques adopted by Taco Bell, which has yielded good results in the recent past, he explains, “We are committed to storytelling – whether for content, commerce or engagement. And this is visible across all communication and campaigns. The brand takes situations and topics which are relatable to its consumers and creates stories around them.”

In a recent campaign for one of their products, TacoBell used influencer marketing and brought on-board web-series stars Dhruv Sehgal and Mithila Palkar. “The duo were familiar to the target audience and helped bring alive the brand proposition and established further connect and reliability with the consumers,” says Dash.

The company’s marketing strategy is more focused towards digital medium, though they launched a TVC as well recently. “We are building the brand with a digital-first outlook with a strong presence on social platforms to showcase our key content pillars, such as topical content,” shares Dash.

Asked how a QSR chain should target potential consumers, he answers, “The key is to keep up with the dynamic millennials, and be visible, distinctive and relevant. We continuously look to innovate and launch new products that are globally consistent and locally relevant to the Indian palate.”

A number of international QSR chains have flocked to India over the past few years. India is a very price sensitive market and cheap offering is the main way to make way in the mass market, Dash shares. 

“We did extensive market research before launching in India to understand local consumers and their preferences, and are conscious of the fact that India is a price-sensitive market. Through our menu strategy and new launches, we look to bring value to the Indian consumers, not only through pricing, but by also ensuring value for money in terms of quality and quantity,” he adds.

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