Search Results For chipotle

Fast food is changing for the better. Every other Friday, I fly through Baltimore Airport, known to many as BWI, around 6PM after a long week of work. When I land, I am extremely hungry and ready for something good to eat. At most airports, I grab a granola bar and wait till I get home to eat because of the bad food.  BWI has the typical fast food choices: McDonalds, Quiznos, Subway, a sports bar with an overpriced burger, Dunkin Donuts, a tasteless pizza place and, of course, a Starbucks. BWI has something that most airports don’t have: a Chipotle. Chipotle is the only restaurant in the airport with any customers. Last Friday, I patiently waited in a 15 minute line for my usual, a steak burrito. There was no line at McDonalds.

Chipotle has changed the way consumers think about fast food. Chipotle has elevated the fast food experience through good food and natural ingredients at a fair price. As Joe from Chipotle tweeted “Its not easy to find good food in airports”. He’s right, but that shouldn’t be the case. Chipotle has successfully challenged many of the rules in the fast food industry. Consumers are willing to wait 15-20 minutes in line and risk missing their flight for the good food at a fair value that Chipotle is offering. Chipotle asked the question, “Why shouldn’t fast food and airport food be good and good for you?” They have changed the game and other fast food restaurants will need to change or risk major sales decreases.

Have you eaten at Chipotle?  

Chipotle Mexican Grill was founded by Steve Ells in 1993 in Denver, Colorado. Today Chipotle has over 1,400 restaurants in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada and France. The remarkable growth of Chipotle was driven by Steve Ells’ passion for cooking and a purpose to change the way people think about and eat fast food. Steve attended the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York. He graduated in 1990 and moved to San Francisco and worked under Jeremiah Tower at Stars restaurant. He always had a strong desire to open his own restaurant. The inspiration for Chipotle came from his visits to little taquerias in the mission district of San Francisco who served burritos with fresh authentic ingredients. Ells felt that he could apply what he had learned as a chef with a little twist and create burritos and other entrees that were not your typical fast food experience. He believed that Chipotle could elevate the fast food dining experience.


A trip to an independent farm in Iowa informed Ells vision, mission and purpose for Chipotle. He learned that the vast majority of pork in the United States was raised in confinement. This led to him to develop a mission based on providing “Food with Integrity.” Food with integrity is Chipotle’s commitment to finding the very best ingredients raised with respect for the animals, the environment and the farmers.  It means serving the very best sustainably raised food possible.

Chipotle promotes its farm-to-table-to-consumer supply chain. It has built on its original “Food with Integrity” concept through a multi-pronged initiative to “change the way people think about what they eat. In 2011, Chipotle launched a  “Cultivate a Better World” campaign that focused on connecting with consumers emotionally, and telling the story of why Chipotle sources sustainable foods.

Chipotle is a great story of innovation and brand building. They have changed the way we think about the fast food dining experience. They have made money while impacting what we eat in a positive way.

Have you eaten at Chipotle Mexican Grill and one a scale of 1-10 with 10 being the highest how do you rate the food?

Brand Marketing is undergoing a fundamental change as new media channels emerge. Bombarding consumers with “sell, sell, sell” advertising and direct mail no longer works like it used. Response rates continue to decline. The same old same old doesn’t work anymore. Consumers are tuning out blatant sell messages. They no longer buy what you do, they buy why you do it. Consumers want to understand your story. People want to support companies with a purpose beyond just selling me stuff and making money.

Today, consumers have a wide variety of media channels where they can research products and services. More and more brands are engaging consumers with authentic stories that matter. These stories inspire and inform consumers. Brands like Zappos, Dove and Chipotle are excellent storytellers with a customer focused purpose. They understand that brands today are in the publishing business. Owning your own media channels is important for success. Storytelling is the essence of Content Marketing.

This morning, I had the opportunity to hear John Robinson speak at a New York Capital Region AMA event in Clifton Park. John is a master storyteller. John’s stories are engaging and inspiring. He also has a great sense of humor. I don’t remember many of the commercials I saw on television last night but I will never forget John’s stories and inspirational message.

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John Robinson overcame countless obstacles to become a successful entrepreneur, family man and inspirational keynote speaker. John is a congenital amputee born without full arms and legs. John stressed how important it was to be comfortable with who you are.

John told the inspiring story of his bicycle ride across New York State which he called the “Journey Along the Erie Canal”. John, his family and Doug Hamlin completed a 17 day bike ride from Buffalo to Albany in July of 2013. Their purpose was to raise awareness of the ability inside all People with Disabilities and to raise funds to support Adaptive Sports, Accessibility, Education and Employment for New Yorker’s with Disabilities. Through his organization, Our Ability, Robinson mentors, connects, and inspires people with disabilities toward education and employment. They were greeted by local politicians and enthusiastic supporters along the way. They overcame many obstacles including rough trails, extreme heat, rain and sore muscles. As Doug Hamlin, John’s partner and guest speaker Doug Hamlin so aptly stated, “Things that look like a disadvantage are an advantage”.

The audience was inspired and engaged by John and Doug’s story, their sense of purpose and how they used Social Media and Content Marketing to distribute their story. They will likely remember the inspirational stories John and Doug told for years to come.

Can you share a story that inspired you to overcome an obstacle?

Cabot Creamery is a 1,200+ farm family dairy cooperative with members in New England and upstate New York producing all natural, award-winning cheeses, including the “World’s Best Cheddar”, as well as a variety of flavored cheddars. Cabot Creamery Cooperative was founded in 1919. In 1919, the cost of farming was low and most farmers produced far more milk than they could market. Cabot area farmers figured if they joined forces, they could turn their excess milk into butter and market it through New England.


Ninety-four farmers joined the original cooperative at the cost of $5 per cow, plus a cord of wood to fuel the boiler. It turned out to be a great investment. The entrepreneurial 94 purchased the village creamery and began producing butter under the Rosedale brand name.  Over the next two decades, as the nation’s population flocked to urban areas, Cabot’s farmer-owners thrived by shipping their milk and butter south. While the national economy shifted away from agriculture, the Vermont economy was still largely based on dairy farming.

In fact, in 1930 cows outnumbered people in Vermont, 421,000 to 359,000. It was at this time that the company hired its first cheesemaker and cheddar cheese entered the product line for the first time. By 1960, Cabot’s membership reached 600 farm families, though the total number of operating farms around the nation was already in rapid decline.

The trend continued into the 1980s when the total number of farms in Vermont sank below 2,000, less than one fifth of what it had been just a few decades earlier. By this time, Cabot had dropped the Rosedale name and was marketing high-quality cheeses and butter under the Cabot brand.

The company also began entering its cheddar in national competitions and in 1989 took first place in the cheddar category at the U.S. Championship Cheese Contest held in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Wine Spectator magazine listed Cabot cloth-bound cheddar as one of “100 great cheeses” of the world in 2008. Also in 2008, Cabot Monterey Jack received an award from the American Cheese Society.


As a co-op, Cabot is owned and operated by the members, which are farmers and their families. As a cooperative, they honor the Rochdale Cooperative Principles which are the basis that cooperatives operate on. Cabot values community, quality, democracy and local ownership.

Cabot is a very strong regional brand that is well know in New England and upstate New York for their award winning cheeses. They are also, and have been since their inception in 1919, champions of all things Vermont. To this day, Cabot partners with and supports organizations like: Ski Vermont; Vermont Quality Wood Products; Vermont Department of Forests, Parks & Recreation; Official State Tourism of Vermont; The Best of Vermont Showcase and the Vermont Mountain Bike Association.

Cabot has learned that one of the best ways to win consumers is by encouraging trial and sampling. The cooperative has opened three retail stores in Vermont where visitors can sample about 25 flavors, including chipotle, chili and lime, horseradish, and Tuscan-rubbed cheddar.

Sustainability is an important strategy for Cabot. Cabot Creamery is the first dairy cooperative to achieve B Corporation Certification. Certified B Corporations are businesses that meet rigorous and independent standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency.

Today, Cabot’s future looks bright. The company blends state-of-the-art facilities and a savvy entrepreneurial spirit, with the timeless values and a personal commitment to quality that comes from being 100% owned by farm families.

I was not aware of Cabot until the story was shared with me by two fellow AMA Board Members. Thanks for the insight.

Have you tried Cabot’s Cheeses?

Successful companies today are organized around a Brand Purpose, a shared goal of improving people’s lives and positively impacting society. Purpose has become an important strategy for brand growth based on linking an organization’s reason for being to making a positive impact in the world. Brands such as Innocent Drinks, Patagonia, New Balance, Chipotle, Method and Levi’s are living brand purposes that are positively impacting society. Companies are re-engineering their approach to brand marketing. For some Purpose has claimed a spot as the 5th P in marketing, Purpose as a business imperative is driving the traditional 4P’s of marketing product, price, promotion and place. Many believe that Purpose is the starting place for building a great company.

For the past five years, Edelman Public Relation has conducted global research on consumer’s attitude around social purpose, including their commitment to specific issues and their expectations of brands and corporations. The results are surprising but encouraging.

  • The power of Purpose is driving consumer preference in a world where trust in corporations is low and product differentiation is minimal. When quality and price are equal, the most important factor influencing brand choice is Purpose.
  • Consumer’s feel it is ok for brands to support a cause as well as make money.
  • Consumer’s are not only choosing brands that positively impact society, they are recommending brand’s that support causes through social media.

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The growing importance of purpose and sustainability is causing companies to reevaluate their business models. Companies are re-engineering product innovation, R&D, supply chains, employee training and marketing around purposes that positively impact the communities where they do business. Purpose driven brands share the following characteristics:

  • They are customer focused
  • Engage employees as ambassadors of change
  • They’re prepared to make changes to their business model
  • Led by visionaries
  • Measure and track performance in delivering on their purpose
  • Collaborate with people and groups outside their organization

Are you more likely to buy a brand that is ethically and socially responsible?