Marketing Taco Bell

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INTRODUCTION

The company I have chosen to base my assignment on is Taco Bell. It is a leading Mexican style fast-food chain serving tacos, burritos, signature quesadillas, Border Bowls®, nachos and other specialty items. Currently, Taco Bell serves more than 35million consumers each week in approximately 5,600 restaurants in the United States of America. It is recognized as the best Mexican fast-food chains in the United States of America (Yum! Brands, 2010). This fast-food chain plans on introducing its products in Malaysia.

MARKETING ANALYSIS (SWOT)

Strengths.

Strengths refer to core competencies and positive attributes that give Taco Bell an advantage in meeting the needs of its consumers. The strength of Taco Bell is when it switched to zero trans-fat frying oil in all of its outlets which is a key competitive advantage of the company over other competitors who has not yet switched to the healthier option. Trans-fat is an unsaturated fatty acid produced by the partial hydrogenation of vegetable oils and present in hardened vegetable oils, most margarines, commercial baked foods, and many fried foods. An excess of these fats in the diet is thought to raise the cholesterol level in the bloodstream which increases the risk of heart diseases such as heart attacks. This is a major advantage as Malaysians are becoming more health conscious and implementing zero trans-fat frying oil ensures a healthier fast-food experience (Algoe, 2010). Besides that, Taco Bell also has the advantage of being a fast-food outlet which offers cheap prices for its products with out compromising the quality. Taco Bell currently offers a $2 set meal which consists of a burrito, a packet of Doritos chips and a medium soda. The $2 set meal converted into Malaysian currency would be about rm6.34 which is cheap and is a advantage as there are many fast food outlets in Malaysia competing for the cheapest price. Furthermore, considering the fact that Taco Bell comes to Penang, it will be the cheapest Mexican style fast-food outlet (Taco Bell, 2010).

Weaknesses.
Weaknesses refer to any limitations that Taco Bell outlets faces in developing or implementing a strategy. Weaknesses of Taco Bell from a customer’s perspective would be the damaged reputation that it holds. Taco Bell suffered a number of losses and lost its goodwill when in November 2006, twenty two of its customers were hospitalized due to traces of E.coli bacteria which cause can cause severe food poisoning, gastroenteritis, urinary tract infections, and neonatal meningitis ( NBC, 2006). Likewise in February 2007, Taco Bell Manhattan was reported to have rodents. The whole scenario was made public as footage of the rodents scurrying about was shown on news shows around the world which lead to the closure of a number or Taco Bell’s outlets throughout the United States ( Barros, 2009). Besides that, in March 2005, Taco Bell faced huge protest from its workers specially when Coalition of Immokalee Workers(CIW) boycott the Taco Bell for human rights (Food First, 2009). In 1998 a lawsuit was filed against Taco Bell when it failed to pay payments to Joseph Shields and Thomas Rinks who have worked with the company in the marketing department. The men were paid a heavy compensation of about $30.1 million plus about $12million additional interests (Howard, 2003). Most Malaysians would be aware of the damaged reputation Taco Bell holds and is a major disadvantage to them.

Opportunities.
Opportunities assess the external attractive factors that represent the reason for Taco Bell to exist. There exists extensive opportunities for Taco Bell to expand in Malaysia due to the fact that there are not many Mexican style fast-food outlets which offers “drive-thru” products and a cheap price. Thus, this will be a great opportunity for them to expand their fast-food chain in Malaysia. Moreover, Taco Bell should introduce more health friendly ingredients and recipes in their menus to take...
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