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Chipotle now serving breakfast burritos? Marketing on Facebook.

June 10, 2009

When I logged into facebook this morning, I thought it was Christmas morning.

Sarah posted new pictures, I’m invited to some idiot lost his phone, it’s Liz’s birthd- Holy crap, “Chipotle now serving breakfast!”

Before anyone gets too excited, I will say that this is NOT true at this time. It was an invitation to join a group hoping to CONVINCE Chipotle to serve breakfast burritos. But, if Chipotle didn’t sponsor this group, they should send free burrito-for-life cards to the people who did.

For a restaurant brand like Chipotle, letting people know about your food choices is tough. There’s a reason why the average In And Out outsells the average Mcdonalds. You know what you want at In and Out. You are in the mood for a burger, fries, and either a shake or a soda.

At MickeyD’s, you are in the mood for an icedcoffeechickensandwichquarterpounderpancakessausagemcmuffin and maybe an ice cream sundae?

But, some would argue that In and Out hasn’t added products because it would be difficult to market them. How does a brand launch a new product? Sure, if your Mcdonalds, and 14 thousand operators are contributing 3% of their revenue to a marketing fund, you have enough money to launch a major nationwide TV ad. (Interestingly enough, McDonald’s didn’t add major new items to their menu until AFTER they had national TV marketing money).

But how many brands really have national TV money? Especially now? For Chipotle’s breakfast burritos, just like a hundred other smaller but powerful brands, this facebook buzz campaign (if it were real) would be more cost-effective.

If you’re a brand manager for a major company, you launch 5-6 new products each year. At my Pepsi office in San Diego, there’s a person who’s main job is to retype the product list every week as we add new products.

Most of those products get lost in the shuffle. Just ask the guy today, who told me his number one problem is that Pepsi has high-fructose corn syrup. He had not heard of Pepsi Natural or Pepsi Throwback. Both made with real sugar!

Saying that products get lost in a sea of advertising white noise is not news. But, imagine using facebook to launch Pepsi Throwback or Natural. Find the natural foods groups, and post a link on their pages to a product info page. Find groups with titles like “HFCS, ruining america since 1916” and get them in on the act.

And the facebook-user who willingly clicks on an ad for Chipotle Breakfast burritoes is giving you permission to sell to her. She is not tivoing past your ad hoping to get to the next scene of Top Model, or turning the page in Cosmo to find the 168th new way to please her man. She legitimately is looking to find out about breakfast burritos.

The big turn-off at the moment with social networks is that the ads are unreliable. They have zero credibility. This scam proves it. Anyone can put ads on facebook. Right now, they’re basically pop-up ads.

But, look what pop-up ads have turned into. Now most good pop-ups feature streaming video and are major tools. In fact, Gatorade ran a pop-up video campaign on the front-page of when they did the “What Is G” rebrand.

If you’ll excuse me, I’m off to lobby the nearest Chipotle to start serving breakfast…

7 Comments leave one →
  1. Matt C permalink
    June 10, 2009 5:41 pm

    Funny Devin, I think I mentioned this months ago to Mark and Andy for the college drive. The LA times wrote an article on the advantages of facebook and twitter when a company launches new items, and the success and risks that are involved. The only problem though is limited reach. You reach our generation, but what about our parents? Although they are increasing in participation in groups like facebook, they are still way behind the curve. This is also the demographic that has one major advantage… disposable income. They have been working for 5+ years and can be a little more liberal with their finances. Now, you were just talking about breakfast burritos, but that is if you just applied your logic to a broader scale.

    • Devin permalink*
      June 10, 2009 5:51 pm

      You did. It was brilliant!

  2. allthefuss permalink
    June 15, 2009 1:43 am

    While I am a HUGE fan of breakfast burritos. I think that Chipotle, like In n Out practices the “KISS” principle (keep it short, simple). I already think the soft tacos are unnecessary at Chipotle, the hard tacos are alright on occasion. If they were to adapt a larger menu, I don’t believe I’d be in there as often as I am now, I hate trying to decide at a restaurant! I do think they should have monthly, or maybe even weekly “specials” where they create special concoctions made by their “cheifs” across all the different chipotle locations. No?

  3. toddliss permalink*
    June 15, 2009 2:35 am

    All sounds good to me. My two cents: I do like the small menu, this means that Chipotle can master the few things they sell, and yes decisions are not that hard to make when you are there. But here’s my viewpoint: If they had say 2 more items or monthly specials, would people go more? Would it reduce burnout of food? I get the same thing every time I go and if I had a second thing I liked as much (I love the burrito bowls but hate the burritos – weird huh?) I would probably frequent Chipotle much more than I do. Just food for thought. mmmmm foood

  4. KPS permalink
    August 28, 2009 3:25 pm

    There is a chipotle breakfast now… Dulles serves it. Google it up.

  5. toddliss permalink*
    August 29, 2009 12:26 pm

    Did everyone hear this?? A rumor of a true Chipotle Breakfast Burrito in Dulles airport. Now all I need to do is get on a place. Thanks so much KPS for the update

  6. B6 Employee permalink
    August 30, 2009 5:57 am

    This is true I work for an airline here at dulles and have been enjoying the breakfast burrito for the past 3 days. Potatoes, eggs, onion & jalepano relish. Choice of churizo barbacoa or carnitas. Sour cream. tomatoes red or green salsa. Can also get a bowl or 3 soft tacos

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