Is Chipotle a food brand or a lifestyle brand?

Chipotle used to be on top of the world. It was opening new restaurants at a furious clip to meet demand from a hip crowd that made the restaurant part of their lifestyle. But as the company feel on hard times (food borne illness outbreaks come to mind), Chipotle struggled to recapture their past glory. Their new CMO Chris Brandt has highlighted a vast array of changes to reinvent the company’s marketing mix: new offerings, faster lines, mobile ordering, new advertising, being “culturally relevant and a part of the conversation” as a “lifestyle brand”. It’s all good stuff…until the end. Being “part of the conversation” ranks right up there with “encouraging synergies” and “quality solutions” in the business BS lexicon.

Here’s some simpler advice: Make good food that most people can afford. Fix your production environment to help ensure you don’t make people sick. Don’t take yourself so seriously in your ads (you make burritos, get over yourself). You’ll be fine. Cultural relevance and lifestyle branding are characteristics you earn after doing the other stuff right. They’re not a strategy.

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Photo credit: CNN

#marketing #foodmarketing #chipotle

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