How brands can creatively leverage Gen Z’s new favorite app, BeReal

Learn from brands that are already winning on the platform, plus, gain an understanding on how retail ecommerce can help your brand scale on every social channel

No-ads policy? No problem.

Gen Z is all about authenticity and being real - hence the name of their new favorite app, which surpassed both Facebook and TikTok as the top non-gaming app in the U.S. in August.

So what is BeReal, and how should your brand be using it?

How it works: Each day, BeReal users get an alert that it’s time to post. They have 2 minutes to post what they’re doing in real-time. You can post late, but your post will be marked as “late,” and it kind of undermines the purpose if you don’t post in the moment with everyone else. BeReal doesn’t have followers like Instagram or Tiktok. It uses friends (think Snapchat), so both users have to accept each other. Currently, you are able to see your previous posts, but no one else can. It’s still in its early barebones stage as far as social media apps go, but that’s the beauty of it.

Why it works: BeReal caters to the important Gen Z values of authenticity and originality. There are no influencers, no ads, no filters, and only one type of post. This type of creative constraint is exactly why the app is seeing so much success. Think about Vine and the 6-second video limit or Twitter’s 140-character limit. BeReal is designed for users and their friends, not brands or influencers.

Why you should care: So why should you care if the app wasn’t designed for brands or advertising? It’s currently the #1 free app in Apple’s App Store. BeReal has escalated exponentially, reaching 3.3 million global downloads in Q1 of this year, a 390% jump from Q4 of 2021, according to BeReal is uncharted territory for brands, but it presents an authentic way to curate a brand personality that attracts a younger audience.

Some food for thought:

  • 73% of Gen Zers are happy to pay an extra 10% on products from brands who advertise their stance on issues like sustainability or anti-racism over luxury or coolness
  • 53% of Gen Z consumers say they’d prefer to buy from a brand that offers the convenience of both physical and online shopping experiences (a promising stat for brands enabling paths to purchase through retail ecommerce!)
  • Gen Z shoppers currently account for 20% of the market in the US, valued at $144 billion

How brands are using it: There are clear obstacles in the way of brands who want to hop on the BeReal trend, but that doesn’t seem to be stopping anyone.

Chipotle: Gen Z and Millennials are about half of Chipotle’s consumer base. Knowing that BeReal’s consumer base is mostly Gen Z or Millenial, Chipotle wanted to test out the app. They posted a photo of a coupon code to their 2,000 friends on BeReal, saying that the first 100 people to use the code in their app would get a free entree. The codes were gone within 30 minutes. Each day after that, the codes were gone within the first minute.

Chipotle BeReal post screenshot

Trident, PacSun, Love Island, and many others are leveraging the BeReal style photo as content on other sites (i.e. Twitter), using the creative format that their target Gen Z audience is familiar with as a way to evoke greater brand engagement.

Trident Gum tweet screenshot
Source: @tridentgum on Twitter

Let’s take Chipotle’s trial as an example. Even if Chipotle only posted on BeReal with this one tactic every so often, Chipotle’s consumer base is now invested in this challenge of winning one of the codes. That means consumers will be adding Chipotle on BeReal and likely following on other social platforms, so they don’t miss out on limited-time deals. Chipotle now has an identity on BeReal (not to mention the new followers and increased brand loyalty), but because they were willing to experiment, they now have a tested and proven tactic to move consumers from BeReal right to their app.

Our take? There’s no formula for how brands should exist on BeReal yet, particularly given the fact that they prohibit paid ads. But that doesn’t mean you should postpone getting on or embracing the platform, especially if you’re looking to expand your Gen Z shopper audience.

Look to the brands who’ve won on TikTok for inspiration. Early adopters gained significant traction since brand presence on the platform was fairly low at its inception.

Anything that can create greater brand and availability awareness for retail ecommerce–informing users how and where they can buy your products–is worth investing in.

  • Use the BeReal photo format to show a “selfie” of your product in the front camera view and a retailer that’s stocking it in the back camera view. Post this on other social channels and link to a Pear landing page - like this Califia Farm’s Oat Milk example - or a PDP with a shoppable widget (see: Liquid Death) so users can instantly find and purchase that product at an in-stock retailer near them.
  • Follow Chipotle’s strategy and post an image with your store locator URL on your brand’s BeReal account. We love Belgian Boy's simple URL: - it gets around the no-linking rule by being easy to remember and type into a browser (plus, screenshotting is a thing). Include an exclusive coupon or rebate for your BeReal followers who purchase through your actionable Pear store locator.

Now is the perfect time for organic experimentation. Be creative, try something new, and most importantly, be real.

Interested in learning about how your brand can leverage shoppability and Pear’s retail ecommerce platform to scale on every social channel? Get in touch with our team

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