Yo Quiero Stock Shares! The big idea: Taco Bell (YUM! Brands) should form a cross-brand alliance with the robinhood.com investment platform in an effort to incentivize their loyal customer base to purchase more delicious crunchwraps. What?! Why?! How?!
Stick with me, amigo. It will be a fun ride
(readers enjoyed the concept piece we created about the multilane expressway for Chik-fil-A HERE)
This thought experiment stems from a fascinating consumer behavior insight – recent research is supporting the idea that consumer purchasing is tied to financial commitments.
“Before now, the prevailing wisdom was that investments affect consumption only through their effect on wealth, and not through an effect on investors’ emotions… [however] We found that ownership of specific stocks triggers feelings of loyalty that lead individuals to consume more from those brands, complementing previous findings that individuals also invest in brands they know and like,” Paolina Medina said. The study that was recently published in the journal of the National Bureau of Economic Research by Medina and colleagues from Columbia University, and associate professor of business Michaela Page, and Vrinda Mittal, a doctoral student — used data from an app called Bumped.
Okay, if this is true – Taco Bell and Robinhood have an opportunity.
First – the black bean crunchwrap supreme might just save America. If you haven’t had one, then please stop reading and run like you’re being chased by a Grizzly to the nearest drive-through. Beyond that, we assume Taco Bell wants to nurture brand loyalty for generations to come. This is a brand that makes fast food for the common person. They aren’t trying to earn Michelin stars for luxe cuisine, right? I mean – obviously.
Second – Robinhood has been at the forefront of the democratization of stock trading since it launched. They wanted to give greater ease of access to the stock market to a much larger swath of the population. Free trades. So you can see that both companies have the same socio-economic target. Their interests are aligned – they both want to capture the interest of and serve the 23-year-old driving the Kia Soul.
Third – Now, more than ever, young consumers are investing in what they love and consume. The rally bitcoin allows music lovers to buy digital currency connected to the artists they wish to support. The official pitch reads: Rally is an open network that enables creators to launch vibrant and independent economies with their communities powered by the ethereum blockchain. The connection between my dollar, my investment account, and my consumption (food, media, whatever) is strong.
The consumer psyche is a tightly woven fabric of these impulses and pulling on one side moves the others
Establishing a brand’s influence in multiple sectors of a consumer’s mind is a good thing. Besides that, Taco Bell has a history of ‘zany/non-linear’ maneuvers. If you haven’t heard -they recently launched the Taco Bell hotel in Palm Springs. This is a bold franchise and they know ‘fun’ and quirky pairings pay off; why not harness this impulse to make further connections with their base in a way that works to mutual financial benefit?
Wouldn’t it be a fun future if all of our purchasing didn’t just earn rewards points on our credit cards, but additionally – added stock shares to our asset column?
Okay, so how might this work? Well – it could work in a variety of ways. Perhaps tracking total ticket purchases through Taco Bell app orders is a way to address devoted consumers with this new offer. Both brands have apps, so perhaps a share of Yum! (stock price today $118) hits the consumer’s Robinhood account when they spend a thousand dollars in a calendar year.
Would the SEC slap a corporation’s hand for incentivizing consumers thereby manipulating their own stock share price? Maybe so. We live in a wild world -between hedge funds, manipulators, cryptos, NFTs, who knows what is on the next horizon? We are just on the record advocating for creative thinking and any sort of value-add beyond free Fire sauce packets dropped in the to-go bags!
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