Taco Bell's 'Ambitious Goal...Is to Be a Brand Bully?'

Bob Froese

Taco Bell's 'Ambitious Goal...Is to Be a Brand Bully?'

Taco Bell, in its quest to "free Taco Tuesday," has successfully pressured the last holdout, Gregory's Restaurant and Bar in New Jersey, to forfeit its "Taco Tuesday" trademark. This move comes after the chain's aggressive efforts to cancel the usage of the trademark, which Gregory's had owned for over four decades. Taco Bell's stance was that the term "Taco Tuesday" should be "freely available to all who make, sell, eat, and celebrate tacos."

However, the reality paints a different picture. Gregory's, a multigenerational family business, faced the might of Taco Bell and its parent company, Yum Brands. The financial burden of legal fees, estimated to be at least $100,000, was too much for the small business to bear. While Taco Bell championed the cause of "freeing" the term, it was clear that the campaign was more about eliminating competition than genuine concern for the phrase's ubiquity.

The irony doesn't end there. David Gibbs, CEO of Yum Brands, highlighted the success of their "Taco Tuesday liberation" campaign, which generated more buzz than their Mexican pizza relaunch the previous year. The result? A 4% jump in sales at Taco Bell US locations open for at least a year.

Yet, one can't help but wonder about the authenticity of Taco Bell's intentions. Their call for freedom seems inauthentic when juxtaposed against the backdrop of a small business being forced to relinquish a trademark they rightfully owned.

Taco Bell may have emerged victorious in this legal battle, but the taste of this victory feels a tad bitter. Especially when considering that their celebration includes giving away free Doritos Locos Tacos in New Jersey to commemorate the surrender of their smaller competitors.

Oh, and one more thing… will Pizza Hut, another Yum Brands entity, now abandon its recently renewed "Wing Wednesday" trademark?

In the world of branding, authenticity and genuine intent matter. If you're looking to build a brand that resonates and stands the test of time, reach out to us at Bob's Your Uncle. Let's create narratives that are both impactful and true to your brand's essence.

#branding #marketing #storytelling

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