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Chipotle CEO on BeReal app success: 'We maximized followers'

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Chipotle said it has maxed out the total number of followers it can have on BeReal, the latest app to gain popularity.

“This is something that has really been rising lately, I understand we’ve maxed out all our followers,” CEO Brian Niccol said at the Yahoo Finance All Markets Summit. How are we developing this platform?”

Yahoo Finance reached out to BeReal for comment, but the company was unable to provide clarity on how many followers the maximum amount is.

The app was founded by former GoPro employees Alexis Barreyat and Kévin Per and launched in December 2019. The app, which gained popularity in the spring of 2022, reached 53 million downloads worldwide, with 14.7 million in September 2022 alone, according to Consumer Intelligence data platform Sensor. Tower.

What keeps BeReal users on the edge of their seats is that they don’t know what time of day the social media platform will ask them to take a photo, only allowing a 2 minute window to be realistic and have a limited time to prepare. companies are hard to navigate.

In May, Chipotle launched a promotion on their BeReal account for customers to use promo code FORREAL to access a free entry for the first 100 people who log in. He was reported to have disappeared in about 30 minutes.

For the annual Boorito celebration on Halloween, fans are encouraged to snap a costumed BeReal photo at a Chipotle restaurant on October 31st and post it to BeReal with the hashtag #booritosweepstakes for a chance to win a year of free burrito.

Niccol sees BeReal, along with other social media platforms, as an important way to connect with consumers, especially younger ones, and to be a part of current trends, adding that Chipotle customers are often “young oriented.”

“We want to be a visible brand, we want to be a pioneer in culture, and then in culture, social media apps like BeReal are part of that.”

The need to stay ‘ahead’ and listen to where customers are heading: CEO

Courtesy: Chipotle

BeReal is just a small part of Chipotle’s social media operation. The fast-casual chain has 2 million followers on TikTok and lags behind some of its competitors, including Taco Bell and McDonald’s, both with 2.3 million followers, but ahead of Wendy’s at 1.3 million.

On Instagram and Twitter, Chipotle has 1.1 million followers.

The brand was also named “the top choice for Hispanic cuisine levels among both upper- and average-income youth” in Piper Sandler’s semi-annual survey. Nicole Miller Regan, Managing Director of Piper Sandler, described this as a great opportunity for overall market share gains.

Niccol agrees that it’s important not only to stay ahead, but to keep your ear down to see what’s next.

“I think we’re very lucky to have one of the best groups of leaders driving our social media efforts, our digital efforts, and really exploring where young people are going, so hopefully sometimes we’re ahead of them and then other times they get us where we need to be,” Niccol said.

Roblox is another tactic Chipotle uses to capture their target audience and help them experience the brand in a different way. Niccol says using the platform is part of a larger experiment to see what works.

“Look, we’re always going to experiment, and that’s partly what we’re doing with Roblox, it’s more about experimenting so we can potentially understand where future sales might come from, and at least right now, it’s definitely the place to contact the right young people,” he explains.

The direct relationship between the company’s bottom line metadatabase is currently largely unknown.

“It’s hard to like to put that into dollars and actual sales, it’s more about brand relevance… being visible and then playing a role in people every day,” stressed Niccol.

Cowen Sr. Research Analyst Doug Creutz agreed in a recent interview with Yahoo Finance, stating that he wasn’t sure if Roblox was the right place to enter if they were looking for profitable returns for big brands like Chipotle or Walmart.

“I don’t know if kids are really that excited about going to a virtual Chipotle or a virtual Walmart. I think they prefer to play,” Creutz said.

Chipotle is expected to report its third quarter 2022 results on October 25 after the bell. Shares are down about 12% year-to-date.

Brooke DiPalma is a reporter for Yahoo Finance. Follow him on Twitter @BrookeDiPalma or email him at bdipalma@yahoofinance.com.

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