As a student of marketing I always pay close attention to campaigns to make sure I don’t spend my money unwisely. Which is why I’m not proud to say that Chipotle’s marketing campaign “Chiptopia” has gotten me to eat there 5 times this month alone. The campaign is simple, buy 4 burrito’s, get the 5th free (which counts towards your next goal of 8 burrito’s). However, I am proud to say that by going there I’ve been supporting my favorite campaign of the year.

Ever since the E.coli outbreak Chipotle has been experiencing declining sales. The reason behind it is simple, there are  many substitutes that make it easy for customers to switch loyalty to ease their health concerns. The difference between Chipotle, Moes, and Qdoba is not big enough to risk your health over so customers deciding to simply eat another option. There has also been an upswing in companies using the “assembly-line” style of fast food such as Blaze Pizza, and Cava (Mediterranean Food), which gives even more options to these customers.

So how exactly does Chipotle regain their lost customers and most importantly keep their existing ones? A rewards program. The program incentives customers to return to Chipotle over and over to get a free item. Chipotle is playing the long game of lifetime value and making sure they gain a loyal customer base. So while you’ll see tons of articles that claim since sales are still declining that the campaign is a bust, we won’t truly know it’s success for some time.