Be careful what you wish for. Chipotle Mexican Grill wished for customers who cared for fresh, local and organic vegetables. They got what they wished for. Then had outbreaks of E. coli, norovirus and salmonella. Just what many people associate with Mexico.
There is really little reason for Chipotle to open its doors everyday. It is more than a year and a half since the food poisoning disaster. There is virtually no longer any profit and a quarter of the customers have never returned.
The Chipotle management tried giving away free food and heavy advertising. To no avail.
What is this all about? Ask any man or woman who had a lover who had an ‘affair’ and lied when confronted. Once trust is gone, it’s gone.
What should Chipotle have done? And what should Wells Fargo do now?
In business you have to start fresh. What Chipotle needed to do was close (in the U.S.) for a week, completely change the restaurant interior colors, plates and layout. Bring in UV lights for the serving counter. Change the name of the restaurant to ‘Chipotle Texas Brand’ and add some new drink to the menu like a free lemonade tea. (A symbolic astringent.)
Wells Fargo needs to do something similar. A new name, maybe ‘Wells Fargo B.’ Put a ‘Recourse hotline’ with phone number on every object including autos, ATMs, the back of checks and employee badges.
Rapidly convert all retail customers to Wells Fargo B and include a small one inch diameter metal token to symbolize the change.
This is marketing that works when your core trust has been lost.