BKW partner Barak Kassar was quoted in a Reputation Management piece by Jessica Merritt suggesting a strategic communications and technology innovation to help Chipotle weather its reputational issues.
Chipotle can absolutely come back and come back strong,” says Barak Kassar. “But first they need to contain and explain. They can’t start to come back with a flashy, definitive new communication campaign about how good they are now if they then have setbacks with continued outbreaks.
Fixing problems with food safety can even lead to innovation for Chipotle. Kassar suggests underlining their brand of Food With Integrity by developing an informative tracking system for customers: “They can today begin to implement an innovative system that lets diners know exactly where each leaf of lettuce or bite of carne asada in their burrito is coming from –via QR code on the receipt that goes to a mobile friendly website that can be viewed on the phone at the table. Some niche organic grocery brands are doing this today.”
By opening up this level of transparency, says Kassar, Chipotle can demonstrate integrity and communicate that they are making significant changes. At the same time, they can tie it to their tighter control of their supply chain that they are already talking about.
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