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It's Time to BeReal | How Can Brands Use BeReal for Gen Z Marketing?

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Published on
July 6, 2023
Last updated
January 18, 2024

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Gen Z is a generation of young people who want to highlight their lives, with the good and the bad that may come with it. They’re done with the pressure of social media, or just doing things for the ‘gram. Trends like ‘make Instagram casual again’ have been increasing in popularity and ‘photo dumps’ featuring various photos, whether serious or not, can be seen on many platforms. Celebrities like Kendall Jenner and Emma Chamberlin have supported this new form of social media, showing that they are not just famous figures, but human as well.

One app born out of this Gen Z e revolution is BeReal. Once a day, the user gets a notification that it’s ‘⚠️ Time to BeReal. ⚠️’, and then has two minutes to take a picture of whatever they are doing for their close friends to see. What started as a social experiment took off and is now being called Gen Z’s new favourite app.

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What’s the deal with BeReal?

This app has about 73.5 million users and about 43% of users are between the ages of 16 and 25, making Gen Zers the most likely users of BeReal. As discovered by Voxburner, 91% of Gen Zers feel that BeReal is the most personal form of social media, 89% say that it’s more authentic and 74% say that the app is more fun compared to other social media.

BeReal has also spread to different social media platforms, with many celebrities sharing their BeReals on their Instagram profiles to make them appear more genuine. 

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A post shared by 𝕽𝖍𝖎𝖆𝖓 𝕿𝖊𝖆𝖘𝖉𝖆𝖑𝖊 (@rhianteasdale)

Friends can also comment on others’ BeReals and leave ‘MeMojis’, or pictures of themselves reacting to their posts; this unfiltered window into the lives of others makes the platform feel more real and authentic. 

All of this led to the BeReal boom and, as of 2022, the amount of users has grown by 315% since its founding in 2019, making it one of the quickest-growing social media platforms since TikTok.

Authenticity is the key

As BeReal grows in popularity, the app works to maintain its image by honouring its core value of authenticity. This is one of the reasons why you won’t see an advertisement in sight. So, is it even possible to market with BeReal?

The short answer is yes, it just takes some creative thinking, and it can show the sides of a brand that a consumer typically doesn’t see. 

1. Chipotle thinks outside the box

Chipotle, a popular restaurant chain in the US, posted a BeReal that led to a huge boom in the Chipotle app downloads and in-store purchases.

The restaurant posted a picture of a coupon code saying that the first 100 users who bought a meal using their app would get a free entrée. This was uploaded on the ‘Discovery’ section of the app, which allows all users to see public BeReal posts. A Chipotle representative told the Retail Brew, ‘The response was incredible the first day. All of our codes were gone in about 30 minutes. And we’re still gaining followers.’

Using the app, Chipotle was able to show off its fresh ingredients and friendly service – something that the restaurant chain often preaches. They also were able to market to the next generation of consumers more effectively – talk about a cheap and easy way to reach an audience!

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A post shared by Chipotle (@chipotle)

Chipotle managed to crack the code on Gen Z marketing by being transparent with their values and products, all through a post on BeReal. This is just one example of the kind of thinking-outside-of-the-box marketing that resonates best with this generation.

2. Be real with your consumers

The boom in BeReal’s popularity through word-of-mouth marketing proves that Gen Z appreciates when a brand is authentic and has a clear purpose without overwhelming the consumer. BeReal’s function is simple and only intended to be used once a day (aside from a couple of bonus photos for users who take acknowledge the initial notification within two minutes!), which is what hooked in Gen Z. In an oversaturated attention economy, it’s sometimes the simple methods of marketing that stand out the most. 

In addition, BeReal has a high percentage of Gen Z active users that are more likely to receive brand marketing positively. Gen Z values authenticity in a brand, with 34% of Gen Z respondents believe this is important in their purchase decision process. 

3. But tread carefully...

Don’t turn BeReal into something it’s not! The app is unique because it doesn’t offer advertising space to brands through the platform itself. Gen Z is notoriously skeptical of brands that are overtly trying to persuade them, so again, it’s essential to be authentic and show a side of your brand that maybe people don’t typically see. 

Try to work with the app, not against it. Look at certain brand qualities that Gen Z would resonate with, and, when in doubt, ask a Gen Zer for some guidance!

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Final Takeaways

If we’ve learned anything from Gen Z, it’s that traditional marketing techniques aren’t always the most effective. There are so many brands fighting for this group’s attention, making it more important than ever to find new ways to resonate with them. 

Gen Zers are hooked on BeReal because it breaks the status quo and focuses on bringing its users back to what social media is all about: sharing your real life, not one that is manufactured to appeal to others. Ultimately, this applies to every and any brand – show Gen Z what you and your brand are really about. So, don’t be afraid to BeReal.

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