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The multi-award-winning visionary behind Chipotle, William Espey shares his recipe for connecting authentically and powerfully with customers and employees.
William Espey is a branding expert known for his pivotal role in creating and developing one of the most significant and successful brands of the last quarter century—Chipotle Mexican Grill. As the company’s “brand voice” for an almost twenty-year run, he played a crucial role in cultivating its growth from its early entrepreneurial roots to the multi-billion dollar chain it became in the U.S. and abroad. From customer-facing advertising and messaging to internal communications, Espey eschewed the conventional, canned, calculated, and characteristically corporate approaches to marketing creative strategy, instead developing Chipotle’s authentic brand voice organically and purposefully as a personal expression of the company’s unique values and culture.
Espey has since continued his career in brand strategy, expression, and development, assisting organizations as a consultant and internal team builder, expanding his experience and influence into B2C, B2B, DTC, and SaaS—with a consistent focus on how to build authentic brands rooted in organizational core values, no matter the industry or the audience.
After debuting as a keynote speaker at a TEDx event in 2010, Espey has evolved into a respected business thought leader, sharing insights on consumer engagement, fostering innovation, and uncovering values and culture to cultivate authentic brand expressions—an approach particularly resonant with Millennials and Gen Z as employees and customers.
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