3 ways Taco Bell Beginning Breakfast Might Be a PR Disaster

Ronn Torossian is CEO and Founder of 5W PR, a leading public relations agency

Image via eater.com

Reinvention, or expansion, of a brand, is the right and the duty of any longstanding business. As  generations come and go and brands continue to shoulder the competition for market space, it’s vital to rework one’s public perception from time to time. Some companies make HUGE changes, while others try various different product line expansions. Some, like New Coke, didn’t fare so well. Others become so successful you can’t think about the brand without that product, ie: Cool Ranch Doritos.

This brings to mind the recent rumblings that Taco Bell is considering adding a breakfast line to its menu of signature Tex-Mex specialty creations. Now, Taco Bell adding menu items is nothing new. They try something new and different every few years or so. The Double Decker,the Chalupa, and, of course, the monstrously successful Locos Tacos.

But breakfast at Taco Bell will have to hurdle at least three massive obstacles to achieve PR success, according to 5WPR:

#1 – Massive, entrenched competition

McDonalds, Burger King, and Chick Fil-A all have successful and established breakfast business. As does Hardees/Carls Jr., Sonic, and several other smaller national fast food chains.

The market is not only flooded with competition, that competition is entrenched. Fast food diners have long since selected a breakfast joint of choice. And for those looking for breakfast fare similar to Taco Bell’s lunch options, there’s already many brands, including more recent market entrants Subway and Dunkin Donuts, that have a wrap or breakfast burrito on the menu. This established competition makes it tough for Taco Bell to gain a foothold and increase market share.

#2 – The end of 4th meal?

No one can argue that Taco Bell doesn’t understand its market. They invented the massively successful 4th Meal campaign, and the monumental Locos Taco to appeal directly to the people Taco Bell knew were coming into their restaurants. The entire 4th Meal mystique is meant to evoke a certain persona and attract a specific market. Will having an early morning menu make changes that detract from the ongoing success of 4th Meal? That is another question Taco Bell must answer.

#3 – Overshadowed success

Most of Taco Bell’s success in recent years has come from courting the market that literally ran them out of Locos Tacos. Now, they are going after an entirely different market, with precious little crossover. Plus, there’s the specter of the entrenched competition. This move has the potential to fail, overshadowing Taco Bell’s recent string of successes.

Torossian says that if Taco Bell can make it past these challenges, and establish itself in the breakfast game, not only will it achieve great success, but it will manage to do something rival Subway continues to struggle with – enter an entrenched fast food breakfast market and grow.

Ronn Torossian

Ronn Torossian is the founder and CEO of 5WPR and one of the most well-respected Public Relations professionals in the United States. Ronn is the author of "For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results with Game-Changing Public Relations."

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