This article does not have much legal bearing, it instead is meant to express what specific circumstances that a strong brand and trademark can help your business survive. A strong mark and specific message associated with a brand that only survives based on popularity is a story worth writing about. Imagine you build a culinary novelty turned phenomenon faced with disease, corporate adversity, and other issues, and your commitment to what your brand stands for gets you through all of it: and yes maybe the guac should be included.
By now if you did not realize this, the company and brand in the spotlight is Chipotle, the Tex-Mex fast-casual chain that took the nation by storm in the past decade.
This specific brand name carries weight because of the message they have constantly tried to send with various ad campaigns over the years. Chipotle was begun by a culinary school grad named Steve Ells who had a love for authentic fresh food. After spending time working for a veteran chef, Ells struck out on his and opened the first Chipotle in Denver, CO. Ells was committed to the idea of food that was served fast, and still defying the “typical fast food experience.”
Speaking of fast food, the McDonald’s Corporation at one point owned around 90% of the shares of Chipotle, however, the upper-level officers began to disagree on what was more important, streamlining and cost-cutting or maintaining what Chipotle calls “Food with Integrity.”
This would not be the last time that Chipotle’s devotion to freshness would harm them in the short term. Many people know that Chipotle suffered outbreaks of bacteria in certain stores with different ingredients on their menu such as their avocados and carnitas.
These outbreaks were not just bad PR, Chipotle’s stock price was cut in half with a month when the news of the outbreak released, they suffered serious revenue dips, in short, it was bad.
Many could use these events to justify a switch to preservatives, being able to skirt more food safety rules and avoid anyone getting sick due to fresh ingredients often have more potential to bacteria in less time than more preserved or artificial ingredients.
Withstanding the Pressure
Chipotle did not, new leadership stuck to the food with integrity mantra and despite another bacteria outbreak and a food safety fine, Chipotle’s stock price and revenue soared as of 2020, during a pandemic year of all years. This casual fast dining chain stuck to what it’s message stood for.
The trademark of Chipotle now stands to the public as a company that will always do their very best to deliver fresh food in their customer’s burritos and bowls.
Defining what your brand says about you through their trademark is essential, and ensuring your trademark is protected is a big part of the process.
Contact Eden Law PLLC today for trademark help, and secure a brand name with a strong message, to maybe one day reach the likes of “food with integrity.”
Written by Christian R. Dudley