Updated: Dec 30, 2020
I love business. Why? Because I believe that business is our best hope to save the world. It is a powerful, mobilized and coordinated system, no duh. And it’s infused with great potential. We’ve all experienced (and continue to experience) its potential for greed and selfishness. But we’ve also been seeing signs for a while now about its potential for good. Anyone follow Sustainable Brands and Triple Pundit? Anyway… This morning, a colleague forwarded an article to me about Taco Bell. It was a sign for me. The gist of the story is that Taco Bell has a new social media strategy. Tressie Lieberman, VP Innovation, is out to deepen the company’s understanding of its customers. "So we can really listen to our customers through social media, be inspired by them and connect with them to create real relationships." I hear the cynic in me reply, sure, social listening is the new black for gathering intel to manipulate consumers. But I read on, and the cynic steps back. Perhaps the most important consideration underpinning this process, she reported, is one of the hardest for brand custodians schooled in the traditional marketing fundamentals.
"And that is to stop thinking like a corporation. To stop being a marketer. We threw out the 4Ps" - namely, product, price, place and promotion - "and just started going back to basics," she added.” Basics! Right. Like asking, what do you stand for? What is your mission? Who are you? What is your legacy? Are you human or marketer? She goes on to explain… Rather than concocting a "social persona", the Mexican-inspired chain tries to represent its core values - which include principles such as "shake up the ordinary", as well as being a "rebel" and an "explorer". Ahhh, yes, the use of an archetypal underpinning to shorthand your behaviors so the brand can be embodied rather than contrived. Great plan.
Why? Because archetypes naturally create affinity. Sourced from the collective unconscious, they are attractors of consciousness. They create magnetic demand. And IF they are really lived they facilitate growth and alignment. An archetypal foundation can act like guard rails for a business to live into its full potential for positive change. Will this make Taco Bell’s food healthy. Errr, nope. Is the change for the planet and all its beings coming fast enough? Sadly, no again. And, yet it is happening. Taco Bell is trying to be human, and to listen. I believe that’s a pretty good step toward asking questions that will create a deeper systems approach to business decisions. #ontherighttrack