How Chipotle’s mindset and culture helped them manage their E. coli crisis, even though they were not technically crisis ready at the time.
William Espey, the man responsible for the voice of the brand that is Chipotle, joins the Invincible Brand Podcast to discuss the challenges Chipotle faced when managing the E. coli crisis in 2015, and the mindset and strategies they implemented to manage the many dynamics of this incident, including the long-lasting reputational impact it threatened to leave on the brand.
About this episode
Chipotle is a brand that has worked hard and done a phenomenal job at building solid and trusting relationships with its customers. When the E. coli crisis struck, the brand needed to work especially hard to not lose all that goodwill and trust they had earned throughout the years—and the challenges that this crisis presented were complex, dynamic, and emotionally based, proving to be more difficult than the organization may have initially realized.
In this episode, William shares what it was like behind the scenes of managing this crisis. We discuss the brand’s mindset and culture, and how these things helped them navigate through the real-time challenges they faced.
I recorded this episode with William a while ago, before I decided to rebrand the podcast and relaunch it in September 2018, so I’ve been waiting a long time to share this conversation with you and am excited to do so!
This episode explores:
- How the emotional connection customers have to the brand amplified the challenges that Chipotle had to overcome, while managing the incident.
- How Chipotle prioritized trust in managing this incident and the actions and decisions they took in alignment with this priority.
- The mistakes they made in managing the crisis and the biggest lessons they learned along the way.
- The impact their culture had on the management of this crisis.
Links discussed in this episode
- The Brand Invincibility Webinar Series I mention at the end of this episode.
Connect with William and Chipotle:
- William’s LinkedIn profile
- William on Twitter: @WllmSPeaks
- Chipotle’s website
- Chipotle on Twitter: @ChipotleTweets
Author of Crisis Ready: Building an Invincible Brand in an Uncertain World, Melissa Agnes is a leading authority on crisis preparedness, reputation management, and brand protection. Agnes is a coveted keynote speaker, commentator, and advisor to some of today’s leading organizations faced with the greatest risks. Learn more about Melissa and her work here.