You probably know of Chipotle Mexican Grill. This restaurant started out with a cool industrial vibe and a strong message of healthy food. What happens, though, when they break their brand and do something that undermines that cool vibe they started? That’s exactly what they have done.
Let’s dissect Chipotle’s brand a bit first. The logo is strong. It’s bold and funky, representing their spirit of food delivery. Its circular design communicates wholeness and the red two-tone theme continues the bold statement. This version doesn’t scale very well, though. They have a flat version that works much better for other presentations, like social media.
Then we can look at the decor aesthetic for Chipotle. Again, it’s very bold and industrial. Most of the materials are left in their raw state, which I’m sure was a deliberate communication of the more raw qualities of their food. The design of the interior stresses function over comfort at times. Most of their tables cannot be moved, and in some locations, neither can the chairs. This also communicates a somewhat rigid view of their user experience. But all in all, the interior works well for Chipotle.
Here is where they go drastically wrong, though. Watch this video and look for the elements of their brand.
Miss anything? Miss everything? Suddenly, Chipotle is in the English countryside in a mythical, medieval era. The ingredients seem to be the royalty in the video, which seems whimsical enough. I get it. They are going for something fun and playful. After the 2015 food safety issues they had, they likely are trying tot highlight their ingredients as healthy.
Although the logo appears four times in the video, it’s so much of an afterthought that you probably wouldn’t notice. Very little of the color scheme is present. There is also none of the urban, cool industrial feel present in so much of their physical locations.
Mostly, it just comes across weird. If you removed the logo from the brief scenes they make an appearance in, and the bowl of food at the of the video, you wouldn’t even know it was Chipotle. And that’s a problem for branding.
One of the rules of branding is consistency. Your brand should be as consistent as possible so that it becomes recognizable, even without the logo. When you break from the consistency of your brand – it’s style guide, color scheme, tone of voice, overall flavor (yuck, yuck, yuck), you lead people away from your brand, not to it.
Consistency is king when it comes to branding. The more consistent you can be in all your media, the more recognizable you become. That type of recognition is what
lets makes people identify with you. Always be consistent within your values, style and tone.
If you want to make sure your brand isn’t broken and that it’s working for you, not against, contact me for a free brand evaluation.