No one can deny the power of Chipotle. They have taken the country by storm, making Mexican food surprisingly sleek, approachable, and healthy. They’re doing a lot right. So what can your brand and health food marketers learn from Chipotle?
1. Looks Matter
Chipotle’s sleek look came from the brand’s interesting roots. Steve Ells, the founder and CEO of Chipotle desired to create an upscale restaurant and thought of Chipotle as his means of making quick money to fund his dream. Steve Ells said, “I deliberately made it simple to operate, because I didn’t want to spend much time there.”
Part of this simplicity came to play in the look of the restaurant. As Christopher Hann of Entrepeneur.com points out, “That look is no accident. The distinctive Chipotle design–a spare, industrial motif marked by concrete floors, exposed piping, natural colors and ample use of plywood and stainless steel–reflects a company culture that champions the basics.” This minimalist look is cheap , efficient, and very urban, which is typically not associated with Mexican cuisine.
Brands always find success by taking the time and resources to develop their own look and feel, and implement it consistently, and with purpose. Health food marketers should know less is more. Keep it clean and simple but approachable. For example, Chipotle embraces the earthy texture of their brown bags and keeps their color palette clean and refined while also using hand drawn typography.
2. Transparency Sells
Chipotle always conveys an image of transparency. They let their consumers know where their meat comes from and how it was raised. They assemble their food right in front of consumers, hiding nothing in an enclosed kitchen. When there is an insufficient supply of sustainably raised meat they stop serving it. This feeling of transparency makes consumers feel good about the food they are eating and the company they are supporting.
Transparency makes brands approachable to their customers. Who establishes this level of trust is bound to forge a strong relationship with their consumer.
3. Attitude is Everything
Ever read the side of a Chipotle cup or bag as you scarf down a delicious burrito? They’ve gone through several design changes, but the attitude remains the same.
Sometimes they feature handwritten rants about how good food should taste. Other times they feature poetry and artwork. Mark Crumpacker, the chief marketing and development officer at Chipotle says, “While typical fast food companies use their packaging to promote new menu items or sell the space to advertisers, we have always tried to use our packaging to engage with our customers wit and intellect.”
A brand’s attitude personifies the brand and makes it more relatable to consumers. This is what ultimately transforms an ordinary brand into a craze-worthy brand.
Chipotle is bold and unique as it continues its mission to bring the world delicious and responsible food. If you’re a health food marketer, you might want to take a page from their playbook.