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Taco Bell Uses This Trick to Connect With Customers. You Can Use It To Connect With Anyone

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How do you stay relevant?

The answer: It can’t just be about what you do. It must be about who you do it for.

Whose problem are you solving? How are you connecting to them? How do you understand them in a way that other people don’t?

If you want a masterclass in doing this right, just head over to…

Image credit: Mike Kemp | Getty Images

Yes, Taco Bell!

Taco Bell just nabbed #1 in Entrepreneur’s annual Franchise 500, our definitive ranking of the strongest franchise brands. It’s their third consecutive time at the top spot, which only two other brands have ever achieved.

And how did they do it? It’s not just about affordable food. It’s about Taco Bell’s ability to understand its consumer — and then stay relevant to them year after year.

That starts by defining their consumer. Who is a Taco Bell person?

Sean Tresvant wondered that in 2021, when he left Jordan Brand and joined Taco Bell as its new chief brand officer. Even though Taco Bell serves everyone, he wanted it to speak to a specific group. He wanted, in his words, a “muse.”

It couldn’t just be Gen Z, though. Yes, Taco Bell appeals to a young consumer — but people make a huge mistake by thinking that everyone of a generation thinks and acts alike. If you want to connect with young people, you can’t just say, “Hello, fellow kids.” You need to define your audience. Know who you’re relevant to.

So Taco Bell identified a psychographic — a specific set of attitudes and interests that its ideal consumer had. They came up with a name: “the cultural rebel.”

“There was an energy to the archetype,” our writer explains in this fantastic Entrepreneur profile of Taco Bell. “It spoke to the generation’s diversity, and what the company saw as its progressive values — a desire to rebel not just against something, but to rage for what it believed in. “That single act unlocked us to do some incredible work throughout the year,” Tresvant told the magazine.

Once Taco Bell did this, it understood who it was for. And that guided all the decisions that came next.

“If you look at a lot of ads, I’m not sure who they’re speaking to — other than being clever,” Tresvant told the magazine. But Taco Bell, he says, makes decisions based on what connects to the cultural rebel. It’s why they picked Doja Cat for their Super Bowl ad, why the brand speaks with the language it does, and even why it surveys fans on which former items it should revive. (Most recently, more than 760,000 cultural rebels voted — and the winner was The Enchirito.)

This thinking goes beyond brands and advertising. Individuals should think this way too.

Because this isn’t just about psychographics. It’s about knowing your audience, and your relevancy to them. It’s about know who you’re for.

Trying to connect better with clients? To impress a boss? Think to yourself: Who am I to them? You can’t just be the person who does the thing. You must occupy a role in their lives — to be the person they associate something good with.

Which means defining them… or defining yourself.

Me, for example? In work settings, I’ve long strived to be the ideas guy. Have a problem? Need to think through something? You come to me — I’ll thoughtfully dig into it with you. And when we’re working on projects, I’ll pump out ideas until something works.

Because I’m the ideas guy — and not just the guy who can do the thing — I become more valuable. People turn to me when they need something. They know the role I occupy… not just in the company, but for them personally.

When you define your relationship, you take control of your value.

And if you’re Taco Bell, you can sell a lot of chalupas that way.

This essay is from Jason Feifer’s newsletter, which helps you think smarter and act bolder. Want more? Subscribe for free here.

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Entrepreneurship

10 Things Every Working Woman Should Do This Year

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Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Self-care has become an all-encompassing term that has strayed from the importance of everyday commodities that keep us in good health and spirits. Though pampering and “treat yourself” moments still have value, here are ten ways to invest in yourself to produce long-lasting, positive results.

Related: 8 Self-Care Tips From Wildly Successful Entrepreneurs

1. Put money into a 401(k)

It’s never too early (or too late!) to start saving for the future. Depending on your employment status, there are different retirement savings accounts. 401(k)s are the most common since these are employer-sponsored and often come with an employer match. However, freelancers also have options, such as a SEP-IRA or a high-yield savings account, to put away extra, tax-free dollars for retirement.

2. Schedule a health checkup

Self-care first includes taking care of your physical health. It’s easy to discredit regular checkups when you’re feeling healthy, but make this the year to get your blood work done. It creates a baseline for your health to identify areas needing improvement or extra attention.

Also, choose areas in your life where you can make small changes. Improving your health doesn’t always mean a drastic overhaul; it may be as simple as drinking more water or adding an extra 30 minutes of exercise to your day.

Related: 3 Key Tips for Optimizing Your Physical Health as an Entrepreneur

3. Review health insurance benefits

Many people with health insurance aren’t sure exactly what it does and doesn’t cover. If you’re unsure, talk with your HR representative or your health insurance provider to get an overview of deductibles, co-payments and other supplemental benefits you may not be aware of. Then, decide if the health care plan makes sense for your current lifestyle.

Are you paying for benefits you don’t use, or do you need additional benefits that aren’t covered? Selecting the right plan will help ensure you have what you need without paying the extra expense for anything you don’t.

4. Ignite your curiosity

Maintaining healthy cognitive functions through new pursuits gives a boost to the brain. Get curious and find what speaks to you. This can be anything from exploring local museums, embarking on different hiking trails, learning a new language or reading more books.

There’s no limit to what you can do, and these activities can ignite more creativity and motivation in your work. While it may be helpful to look to others for inspiration, make them enjoyable so you’ll want to make them a regular occurrence.

5. Prioritize mental health

Mental health has been at the forefront of people’s lives over the past few years, as many have experienced burnout. We often equate productivity with a value that drives us to go beyond our means and leads to anxiety, stress and depression. Take note of your everyday stressors and see how to reduce or eliminate them. Then, replace them with relaxing outlets that allow you to recharge.

There are various ways to prioritize mental health, from practicing positive self-talk to meditation to scheduling an electronics-free day. You may have to try different solutions before you find one that fits.

Related: 5 Ways to Protect Your Mental Health as an Entrepreneur

6. Implement good sleep habits

Consistent sleep is one of the essential factors of good health but one that is often overlooked. For many, it can be challenging to wind down from the workday. Therefore, you must “train” your body to prepare for sleep by getting into a nighttime routine.

Create a sanctuary for yourself to improve your sleep habits. Enjoy a soothing cup of herbal tea, perform a skincare routine, and snuggle in with a good book rather than scrolling through your phone. Additionally, ensure your bedroom is dark and cool for ideal sleep comfort and turn on soothing sounds if it helps lull you to sleep.

7. Try something new

What have you wanted to try but have always held back? Maybe it’s public speaking or contributing to a blog. Whatever “new” has been on your to-do, make a plan, schedule it on your calendar and go for it. It’s common to hold back from these activities due to fear of the unknown or failure, but trying new things helps create confidence and can be the catalyst you need to push you to the next level.

8. Learn to set boundaries

Boundary setting is crucial to relationships yet can be difficult to master. It doesn’t always involve simply saying no to people’s requests. Instead, it requires protecting your own values when people violate them. Setting boundaries may mean spending less time with certain people, removing yourself from toxic situations, or declining invites to events that don’t improve your life. Explore areas where boundaries will help you grow, and keep in mind growth itself is a work in progress.

Related: How to Set Boundaries to Build Thriving Relationships

9. Spend quality time alone

Learning how to enjoy time spent alone is a valuable gift. We are inundated by a false sense of connection through the internet, which often makes us feel lonelier than ever. Then, we overschedule our calendars to make up for human connections, only to feel drained afterward. Slow it down and plan a few solo dates a month to see how it feels to be truly present with yourself.

For those who aren’t used to spending quality time alone, it can feel awkward and uncomfortable initially, but these stem from your own perceptions. Take in a matinee, sit in a coffee shop and read, or enjoy a concert or event you’ve wanted to attend. Alone time has been linked to improved stress management and greater life satisfaction, so it’s worth trying to give yourself more time.

Related: Turns Out, Those Who Like Being Alone Can Be More Creative

10. Get active

Getting active can take on several directions. It can be physical, emotional or spiritual. The point is to engage with people and pursuits that feed your soul. Whether volunteering within your community, setting yourself an exercise goal, or learning more about personal development, there are endless ways to get active and invest in yourself this year.

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Are You a Winner? How to Truly Define Winning in Your Business

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Businesses gauge their performance typically with dozens of goals and metrics. But you can’t do everything at once. The challenge is to get people focused on the one thing that’s most important right now. If it moved in the right direction, it would eliminate a weakness (or capitalize on an opportunity) and improve financial outcomes. You improve that, and you win.

However, not every company clearly defines winning. A catalog of goals can pull the organization in multiple directions and stretch finite resources. Numerous goals can inherently be at odds, working against each other and for conflicting purposes. For example, a cost reduction goal might undermine an innovation goal requiring a significant investment.

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Gen Z Is Making Ugg Boots Fashionable Again: Report

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Ugg boots, the furry, sheepskin boots that defined the 2000s are back, apparently, with spiking interest and Gen Z cachet, according to data from shopping website, Lyst.

The site’s annual quarterly report that highlights the “hottest” 20 fashion brands was released on Thursday, and, as Insider noted, Ugg is on it for the first time since the index began in 2017.

“Gen Z shoppers are breathing new life into once dormant brands … with over 1.2 billion mentions on TikTok — Ugg’s influence is undeniable,” the report notes.

The boots were also sold out of stores during the holidays, it added.

Generation Z, or people born between 1997 and 2012, has demonstrated a penchant for bringing back old technology and trends, from flip phones to “vintage” headphones with cords.

But Ugg boots go back much further — the word “ugg” is actually a general term in Australia that means boots made from sheepskin and fleece, according to the BBC.

The company that created the “UGG” boot, Deckers Outdoor Corporation, is based in the U.S. and has tried and failed to trademark the word in Australia (where a court decided it was a generic word and thus could not be trademarked), the outlet added.

The company says the boots began to gain popularity in California in the 1980s. They were first featured on Oprah’s Favorite Things in 2000 (a huge brand-maker back then) and became “cherished commodities” early in the decade, according to Vogue.

The boots later gained prominence again with a fashion movement that prioritized “ugly” clothes, and have since become an unironic Gen Z favorite, per Insider. Kylie Jenner was also spotted wearing them in November.

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