Chee-po-le or Chi-pot-le?: How Chipotle's Name turned into a Marketing Movement
Chee-po-le? Chip-ole? Chicole? For some, Chipotle may be a hard name to pronounce. When K-Pop boy band, BTS, was unable to pronounce the company’s name in a viral YouTube video, Chipotle responded quickly in a tweet by saying “Its chicole now” and changing its twitter handle to match. The first US fans of BTS were then treated to a free burrito bowl if they used the code NEWBIES on the Chipotle app. This all is, in fact, part of Chiptole’s marketing strategy – to appear relatable, humorous, and genuine. Using its social media platforms such as Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok , Chipotle engages in social listening and posts content that would generally relate to the Gen-Z crowd.
On Instagram, Chipotle remains relatable by sharing their followers' posts and using Gen Z slang and humor. According to Candic Beck, senior manager of social and digital marketing at Chipotle, the company typically posts memes that “relate to customers, tap into specific insights and even to troll themselves.” Additionally, every few posts would be a screenshot of a tweet from a follower, or the official Chipotle account, about anything Chipotle. With the introduction of Reels on Instagram, Chipotle has also worked to produce and include these short form videos on its feed.
TikTok is where Chipotle establishes a funny and genuine personality by posting quick comedy sketches and videos that follow the latest trends. An example would be a recent TikTok Chipotle made with the “Corn Kid”, a grade schooler named Tariq, who recently went viral over his love of his corn. The video garnered over 59.1M views (as of the time this article is written) and 9.2 M likes.
Their videos include a mix of content produced by their followers and by the company. Some show the behind the scenes work at the restaurant, while others show followers posting relatable experiences eating and dining at Chipotle.
Chipotle uses Twitter to reply directly to its followers and customers while also announcing giveaways, freebies, and important news or updates. According to Socialtracker, a website that tracks social media engagement, Chipotle garners about 900,000 tweets in a week.
All in all, Chipotle’s unconventional strategy of “keeping it real” to reach out to Gen-Z has definitely paid off. Garnering over millions in followers and likes, Chipotle continues to see engagement rise across all their social media platforms.
Written By: Qiling Yeo