Alternative marketing thinking

iCONTRACT

Advertising Killing Brand Integrity?

There’s an interesting story in BusinessWeek Magazine on Chipotle, a Mexican FastFood Chain with a new kind of thinking. “Food With Integrity” Steve Ells, founder and chief executive of Chipotle Mexican Grill who runs the hottest fast-food chain in the nation. Ells would like Chipotle, and every restaurant for that matter, to be using only natural ingredients. Ideally, each kitchen would prepare sauces from scratch with pesticide-free vegetables and spices, for instance, rather than buy ready-made sauces that come with preservatives and artificial flavors and colors. But that’s not the only difference Chipotle brings into the business. Ells has some pretty strong views on advertising. Advertising isn’t believable. We want to prove to people that we have great quality food. We do this by having this transparent format, this open kitchen where you actually see real food, rather than telling customers our food is fresh. And fresh isn’t even enough; it’s just the starting point. Only 5% of our customers probably know about food with integrity. The rest come in because Chipotle tastes great, or they like spicy food, or they think it’s a great value, or it’s convenient, or the place looks cool. That’s awesome; I love that. I would like to have advertisements telling people about food with integrity on television, and plastered on billboards and in all the big magazines and national newspapers. But I don’t think people want to hear it that way. That might be too preachy. Read the story here.

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