In the old days, if you wanted to build your own franken-creations at Taco Bell, you either needed to buy all the different items before combining them, have a buddy who worked there to let you in afterhours, or be a Fast Company writer.
Now, the fast feeder has launched its new site that includes the ability to order, customize, and pay for your order, all from the comfort of your phone, tablet or laptop. All that and your profile is saved so you don’t have to remember exactly what you got on those nachos the other night to enjoy the same cornucopia of flavors again. It also includes a section called “The Feed” with curated content and behind-the-scenes news about Taco Bell and its menu.
For all its tech wizardry, the site comes across as user-friendly lo-fi–food shots look more like Instagram posts than traditional food photos. The launch commercial co-stars Brittany Creech, who got Internet famous for taking her senior high school portraits inside a Taco Bell.
Tressie Lieberman, Taco Bell’s vice-president of digital innovation and on demand, says the new site, created by agency Deutsch, is just the next step in the brand’s overall digital evolution, which started last fall with the launch of its mobile ordering and pay app Live Mas.
“Consumers want access to brands on their own terms with the ultimate convenience, which is defining on demand economy,” says Lieberman. “The app was the beginning, and the good news is that it helped us with a foundation allowing us to scale. Making the experience seamless for team members and frictionless for our customers were the driving forces.”
Deutsch chief digital officer Winston Binch says that because Taco Bell has established itself as one of the most innovative brands on the web through its inventive approach to social marketing, people expect a lot. The mission, according to Binch, was to invent the most creative e-commerce food experience anywhere through menu customization and engaging editorial content. “Our ambition was to do to food what Nike had done to sneakers through product customization services like Nike iD, and Burberry had done for fashion through its use of authentic and inspirational lifestyle content,” says Binch.
In its research, the agency found that Taco Bell’s young target audience cared a lot about new food adventures. “Based on the insight, we identified ‘creativity’ as the strategic white space for the brand,” says Binch. “No one in the category was playing here, and it fit perfectly with the brand mission of shaking up the ordinary.”
Up next is delivery, starting with a partnership with DoorDash that rolled out delivery service in more than 200 markets in the U.S. this summer. Then later this year, the brand will launch a new loyalty program that the brand says will gamify your loyalty to Taco Bell.