Chipotle CEO on BeReal app success: ‘We’ve maxed out’ followers

Chipotle said it’s maxed out the number of followers that the latest app gaining popularity, BeReal, can have.

“This is something that has just taken off recently, my understanding is that we have pushed all of our followers to the limit,” CEO Brian Niccol said at the Yahoo Finance All Markets Summit. How do we develop this platform? “

Yahoo Finance reached out to BeReal for comment, but the company was unable to clarify the number of followers with the maximum amount.

Created by former GoPro employees Alexis Barreyat and Kévin Per, the app was launched in December 2019. Gaining popularity in the spring of 2022, the app reached 53 million downloads worldwide with 14.7 million in September 2022 alone, according to Consumer data platform. Intelligence 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 urge them to snap a photo, allowing only a two-minute window to be realistic with limited preparation time and somewhat difficult for companies to navigate.

In May, Chipotle launched a promotion on its BeReal account for customers to use the promo code FORREAL to gain access to free entry for the first 100 people who checked into it. He reportedly disappeared in about 30 minutes.

At Boorito’s annual Halloween celebration, fans are encouraged to take a photo of BeReal in costume at Chipotle on October 31 and post it on BeReal with the hashtag #booritosweepstakes for a chance to win a free one-year burrito.

Niccol sees BeReal, along with other social media platforms, as a key way to connect with consumers, especially younger ones, and be a part of current trends, adding that Chipotle’s customers typically “lead young.”

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

The need to stay “on top” and listen to the customer’s destination: CEO

Courtesy: Chipotle

BeReal is only a small part of Chipotle’s social media operations. The fast casual chain promotes to 2 million followers on TikTok, trailing some of its competitors including Taco Bell and McDonald’s, both with 2.3 million followers, but ahead of Wendy’s by 1.3 million.

On Instagram and Twitter, Chipotle has 1.1 million followers.

The brand was also named “most favored at levels of Spanish cuisine across both high-income and middle-income teens” in a semi-annual survey by Piper Sandler. Ms. Piper Sandler, Managing Director Nicole Miller Reagan described this as a significant opportunity for overall market share gains.

Nicole admits it’s important to not only try to stay ahead but to have an ear on the ground for what’s next.

“We are very fortunate to have, I think, one of the best groups of leaders running our social media efforts, our digital efforts, and really looking for the direction of youth, so sometimes we hope to be ahead of them and then other times they lead us to where we want to be. be,” said Nicole.

Roblox is another tactic that Chipotle uses to engage its audience and help them experience the brand in an almost different way as the Chipotle Grill Stimulator to release Garlic Guajillo Steak. Nicole says using the platform is part of a larger experiment to see what works.

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

The direct relationship between the metaverse in the company’s bottom line is largely unknown at the moment.

“It’s hard to put it into dollars and actual sales, it’s so much more about the branding theme… being visible and then playing a role in people every day,” Nicole emphasized.

Quinn, research analyst Doug Kreutz, agreed in a recent interview with Yahoo Finance, noting that he’s not sure if Roblox is the right place for big brands like Chipotle or Walmart if they’re looking for lucrative returns.

“I don’t know that kids are really excited about going to a virtual Chipotle or a virtual Walmart,” Kreutz said. “I think they like playing games.”

Chipotle is expected to announce its results for the third quarter of 2022 on October 25, after the bell. Year-to-date shares are down nearly 12%.

Brooke DiPalma is a reporter at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter at @BrookeDiPalma Or email her at [email protected]

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