Taco Bell had been a brand in sync with culture for many years. But around 2010, the brand stumbled into harder times. Sales declined as a new generation grew up and felt disconnected from the brand.
The team at Collider Lab was tasked with finding a way for the brand to get back in sync with culture. For weeks, the team dove deep into emerging culture (back then mostly led by Millennials) to understand the values that the brand had missed. With the help of subconscious creative exercises with consumers and interviews with professors of Anthropology and Culture, we found the answer. In the wake of a new Instagram-aesthetic, culture was shifting to a more curated, beautiful world and self-image, where how your food looked was becoming just as important as how it tasted. Meanwhile, Taco Bell was seen as the somewhat old-school, whacky “stoner in the back of the classroom.”
How could it turn that perception—and therefore sales—around? Become the brand that brought fast-foodiesm to America.
Collider Lab’s strategic recommendations and roadmap for Taco Bell helped the brand create a culturally attuned campaign and lead to 9 years of consecutive growth. Since that year, Collider Lab has been an integral part of the marketing team’s approach on nearly every marketing window.
Reclaiming KFC’s Global Icon Status
KFC is one of the largest QSR’s in the world, but over time had lost momentum. By working closely with sociologists & cultural experts, listening to what people were saying (and not saying) about KFC, we unearthed how the brand had become off-code. In collaboration with the local markets and the KFC global team, we helped craft the global brand positioning & localized the strategy across 20+ markets. Since then, the brand has doubled its growth rate and now enjoys a far more breakthrough, distinctive, and relevant place in culture in most countries around the world.
Lean Cuisine goes from Lean to Strong
Over the last few years, we’ve worked with Lean Cuisine to modernize the brand from outdated codes to a powerful positioning. We then worked with the brand to propose a new brand development, Life Cuisine. Most recently in 2020, we created fresh new positionings for Lean Cuisine and Life Cuisine to identify where each should play, consulted on brand architecture, and used our Category Usage Occasion Growth Study to prioritize product lines for both brands.
Making The Habit Burger Undeniably Distinctive
The Habit Burger is a growing fast casual brand beloved for its chargrilled flavors, and fresh tastes. While highly relevant serving up better burgers than the traditional burger guys, its lack of distinctiveness was holding it back. In collaboration with our design partners, TBD, we led the strategic thinking for all touch points of the brand — communication, creative, brand positioning, social purpose, and in-store and digital experience. We tapped into the brand’s rich Santa Barbara beach town origin and authentic spirit to refresh their distinctive assets. The Habit is now poised to grow as an irresistible, salient brand.