The partnership between Chipotle and e.l.f. reflects a broader wave of unexpected mashups in the world of marketing recently. Beauty brands aren’t just beauty brands anymore, and similarly, restaurants aren’t just restaurants anymore. Despite a sometimes-unsavory past, Chipotle has persevered by keeping a fresh perspective, including being open to atypical partners. That said, it’s not all beauty brands that can dish out hit songs and singlehandedly start viral trends on social media the way e.l.f. cosmetics has, in addition to sliding six spots up into the Gifted class of Gartner’s Digital IQ Index: Beauty. Could Chipotle have hit the partnership jackpot?
Unconventional collaborations between brands has become a go-to strategy to discover new audiences and revitalize brand image, and consumers have responded positively to these exercises, as observed in Gartner’s report on the topic. But just like any relationship, brand couples need to be multi-dimensionally in sync. In the case of Chipotle and e.l.f.’s second go-around, the saucy new products remind viewers of both brands’ abilities to evolve and adapt ad consumer preferences change, all with the flavor of fun.