Chipotle prefers to be loved by customers rather than feared by competitors

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Chipotle Mexican Grill The company has become one of the most popular restaurant chains in the United States thanks to CEO Brian Niccol changing his marketing message, according to company management.

In 2018, he joined Niccol, where he previously worked at Taco Bell. Chief Marketing Officer Chris Brandt said the company’s marketing has been better than other brands so far.

Chipotle Mexican Grill
Chipotle is piloting new technologies in its restaurants to deliver precise forecasting, optimal quality, and increased convenience for digital guests.

At his recent CNBC CMO Exchange virtual event, Brandt told CNBC’s Julia Boorstin that the company has been unique and authentic over the last few years, and that change has led to increased sales and a social He said it has led to the suppression of cult support in the media.

“More visible, more relevant, more lovable,” Brandt says.

This marketing technique may require the company to address social and political issues and update messages on social media platforms where many young consumers spend time. Brandt opened up on both of these topics in an interview with CNBC.

Remind employees that Chipotle is not a PAC

Even before the marketing message changed, Chipotle was not shy about speaking out on social issues. Chipotle’s core demographic is young overall, ranging from the oldest millennials to college students, so supporting causes like environmental sustainability and farmers wasn’t a big risk. But with the rise of social justice movements and activism, brands are often at crossroads between silence and support on sensitive issues.

The desire to align with customer values ​​can lead to concern, anger, or loss of business. Some brands are quieter than others to avoid potential backlash from customers and politicians, but Brandt says the company’s approach isn’t all-or-nothing, but it’s about taking a stand. said to have advantages. “I’m firmly in the ‘it depends’ camp,” Brandt said.

Brands need to be strategic about the causes they support, as simply espousing all societal causes can be seen as actionable activism for younger audiences.

“We have a progressive culture, but when it comes to our team, we’re not a political action committee,” Brandt said.

Rather than address every social issue that arises, Chipotle encourages employees to voice their support for a variety of issues.

“Chipotle has been an advocate for [sustainability] for many years. I can’t cover every topic, but I think we give our employees a lot of leeway,” he said Brandt. “You should pursue your passion. You should, but the company doesn’t always honor all of them.”

Become the number one restaurant brand on TikTok

Chipotle’s social media presence has also helped drive loyalty among young consumers.

With over 1 million followers on all major social media platforms, his attention to TikTok in particular has paid off.

In 2021, Chipotle will become the ‘Most Followed Grocery Brand on TikTok’.

Corporate social media challenges like #GuacDance and the “Lid Flip Challenge” have broken records for video-sharing apps.

Brandt said Chipotle’s social media presence aligns with its traditional marketing philosophy of being where consumers are.

“TikTok is like television for young consumers,” said Brandt. “It’s a message of broader consciousness.”

While the company’s TikTok content may seem simplistic, Brandt said it helps keep his Chipotle presented authentically on the platform, adding that any social media his platform has. It states that it should be used strategically by brands.

“The most important thing is to make sure your promotions are unique to that platform, wherever you are. Anything we post on TikTok is unique to TikTok,” said Brandt. increase. “We have a group of people within our company and at our agency who have a really good sense of what is cool and what will be popular on TikTok. We use influencers and do all of this. Everyone has their role. ”