The Bell: The Good. The Bad. The Opportunity.

Think of Fyre Fest. We didn’t need an analytics solution to know that their poor customer experience made for a fat flop. Social media, the Netflix documentary, and a 6-year prison sentence did a good job of that.

But here’s a new experience concept that’s bound to be more successful in bringing the heat. It’s the work of Taco-Bell, who’ve perhaps cottoned onto the notion that young people will pay to play.

They call it “the tacoasis”.

We call it “the tost-ada-town”.

And in case neither of these rings a bell (sorry), allow us to introduce you to The Bell.

Taco Bell’s Palm Springs hotel takeover opens doors for a limited time in August, giving fans a burrito-breakaway from the mundanities of a life without them.

As a retail analytics provider, we help people to better their customer’s experiences. So we’ve taken a medium-to-deep dive (toes still touching the bottom) into the good, the bad, and the opportunity therein.

The Good (Or as we like to call it, the guac)

Taco Bell sees itself as a hospitality brand- so next level customer experience is a priority. In keeping with 2019’s retail trends, this clearly calls for full-on immersion, as described by Taco Bell’s head honcho’s. “It will be fun, colorful, flavorful and filled with more than what our fans might expect,” Taco Bell’s Chief Global Brand Officer Marisa Thalberg said in a statement. “Also, just like some of our most sought-after food innovation, this hotel brings something entirely new for lucky fans to experience and enjoy.”

Customers will enjoy services like bag collection by “Bell”-hops. They’ll glide across the pool on Fire Sauce and Sauce Packet floaties, sporting taco-painted nails and braids by The Bell hairstylists. Exclusive menu items will fuel the weekend of mariachi-mischievery, as well as the introduction of daily “happier hours” and plenty of other surprises.

The Bad (The calories)

Well, not much. The branding might seem a bit heavy handed though. As this article by TheTakeOut puts it: “paying to be immersed in ads—sounds like a straight-up dystopian nightmare.”

If you’ll allow us a moment of pedantry, the ever-present branding may confirm a certain naivety which is also detected in such press statements as: “making fans’ dreams come true with an immersive way to celebrate the best of the brand.” We say this because we’re just not sure how many customers lie awake at night thinking “how can I celebrate the best of Taco Bell’s brand?”

Retailers certainly don’t need logos everywhere to be heard, or for brand-love to be felt. That’s the power of the overall customer experience after all!

It really could be worse though. The Bell has a lot of fun puns to taco-bout. The brand also has a legacy of providing great experiences, like hosting weddings in the Las Vegas flagship Cantina and merchandising through Forever 21. This makes them consistent and iconic enough to pull this off.

We’re sure that they are looking at this through the eyes of opportunity. They must realize that the importance of this weekend really lies in listening to their customers, providing long-run value rather than an advert-immersion sprint.

The Opportunity (The sombrero on top)

While this hotel is designed to delight Taco Bell’s top fans, we see this as one big focus group. The insights will run thick and fast like hot sauce from dispensers- and should be handled by an expert analytics provider.

This first-party data opportunity makes it possible to understand more about their customer demographic and corresponding behavior than ever before. Captivating visitors with an extended stay is a smart way to observe different customer behaviors than what is revealed in the usual rush of Fast-Food.

For example, the regular treat times at the event mask the tell-tale flavor of market research. They’ll know which new flavors would appeal most to their customers on masse, and why. It’s a good business move when it comes to rolling out new meals because all cash spent on promotional assets (as well as all other costs) will be wisely spent.

This is just one kind of insight to be gained- another could be looking at the age groups in attendance to understand your most active demographic. Yet another could be the tracking of the specific elements which gather the most traction, which can inform Taco-Bell of their most ideal potential future partnerships.

These insights, when acted upon, would help take this event past a holiday in August and into the future- useful for a brand that values experiences so highly. One can see the brand love that rewards customer-experience centricity:

That’s why we at Vision retail analytics believe experience-proofing is the best way to move your business forward. We’re here to help retailers firstly see their opportunities, and then make the most of them.

Whether you’re starting out in the journey of better customer experience or already championing the cause, everybody has their next step to take. Today, ours is towards a taco- it is TacoTuesday after all.

Visit Let’s chat about how your business can get the world talking.

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