And the Grammy Goes to… Chipotle.

While Adele was winning basically every award there was to win on the Grammy stage, there was another winner that nobody expected. And no, it wasn’t Nicki Minaj’s confusing performance to open up the third-hour…

It was a 140 second ad spot from Chipotle, aptly titled “Back to the Start” (check out the video below) that left people Tweeting, Facebook-ing, and applauding around the country.

The ad, featuring a Willie Nelson cover of Coldplay’s “Scientist”, can be downloaded via iTunes with all proceeds going to the Chipotle Cultivate Foundation, supporting sustainable agriculture, family farming, and culinary education.

Recent comparisons have Chipotle on the same innovation playing field as Apple. The fast-casual food chain is proving, just like Apple, that we want quality, and we’re willing to pay a premium for it. 

Don’t believe me? Take a look at these numbers from a recent Slate article:

“..Anyone who has walked a city block (or driven a suburban one) in recent years knows that Chipotles have been springing up around the country. But the numbers need to be seen to be believed. They opened 67 new stores in the fourth quarter of 2011, growing by just over 5 percent to 1,230 total outlets. They opened the first Chipotle in London, and launched their second restaurant concept, the Southeast Asian-themed ShopHouse, whose initial location has quickly become a lunchtime favorite for those of us who work in the nearby Slate D.C. office. Chipotle stock is up 50 percent on the year and over 500 percent over five years, far outperforming the market as a whole or the restaurant sector in particular. They announced last week that revenue grew 23.7 percent in 2011, with an 11 percent increase in same-store revenues. Restaurant operating margins are more than 25 percent…”

What’s the secret behind Chipotle’s success? It’s not really about Chipotle at all.

They’re focusing on the big picture. Not the benefit they provide. Not the yummy burritos they wrap up. But the benefit you and I have the opportunity to contribute to. They’re focused on establishing a company culture that promotes and embraces sustainable and natural products.

The takeaway, for every brand, is to think big. Think not about what you can do for your customers, or even what they can do for you, but on what we, collectively, can accomplish.

Now more than ever, we want to be a part of something. Something bigger than ourselves. A movement. We want to contribute. We want to feel good about what we buy, even the burritos we eat.

Your brand the opportunity to tap into that, to provide that to the masses. To offer something that’s good for the world, and good for your bottom line. A win-win.

Nobody said it was easy. But maybe it’s time to go back to the start…

Can’t see the video? Click here | Image credit

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