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Taco Bell parent Yum Brands unveils their approach to technology acquisition.

Yum Brands on company’s approach to technology acquisition: ‘will this provide us a competitive advantage’

Yum Brands recently announced the acquisition of two technology companies — Kvantum and TicTuk – and it’s all part of a careful digital strategy of acquisitions and in-house investments

Yum Brands made headlines this week by announcing their second technology company acquisition in a month, with the purchase of Israeli omnichannel ordering company, TicTuk Technologies, and the announcement of their intention to acquire artificial intelligence consumer insights company, Kvantum.

While it might look like Yum Brands is on a tech spending spree, the acquisitions are part of a careful plan to license or acquire tech or spend it on developing in-house digital advancements. Whether or not Yum will continue to acquire global technology companies comes down to this question: “will it provide us a competitive advantage?”

“We think this acquisition gives us two things: it gives our teams new tools to grow and gives us talent,” Yum Brands chief strategy officer Gavin Felder said. “With Kvantum we can optimize our spend and with TicTuk we see growth generated when we turn on omnichannel capabilities. These are the lenses through which we see things.”

TicTuk will allow customers to place orders through text, email, Facebook messenger and WhatsApp. Yum has already been working with the tech company and the service is already available in 900 restaurants in 35 countries globally, with plans for the capabilities to come to the U.S. down the road.

“The beauty of TicTuk is speed,” Felder said. “We’ve seen the average time it takes a customer to order the first time using the service is 60 seconds and by the second time it’s down to 30 seconds. It ties back to our strategy of providing a seamless customer interaction. If we can make that happen, it will get more customers into the business and generate that flywheel.”

The advantages to using Kvantum, on the other hand, is about being able to make better marketing calendar decisions around the world, Felder said. With new marketing intel Yum Brands will be able to know how much money to spend of what type of marketing campaigns. This data is married with customer insights lab Collider, which Yum acquired several years back, which “brings the art to customer insights” while Kvantum “brings the science.”

Their digital strategy, Felder said, comes down to a combination of building up customer experience, team member experience, and winning franchisees.

“We think about our business like a time machine — you can fast forward into the future and try to understand the intersection of customers and technology that allows us to position ourselves well in 5-10 years’ time,” Felder said. “[These technologies] allow us to meet customers where they are and where they want to be.”

Contact Joanna at [email protected]ma.com

Find her on Twitter: @JoannaFantozzi

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