Do retailer TikTok campaigns tick the right boxes?
With TikTok becoming one of the most downloaded apps nationwide and worldwide, and with the U.S. emerging as the second most important market in terms of money spent on the app, U.S. retailers are starting to look for ways to leverage the short video sharing service. One of the first big names to hop on TikTok is Dunkin’.
Dunkin’ recently launched a campaign in which it asked fans to come up with “menu hacks” and post them on TikTok, according to Yahoo Finance. By “menu hack,” Dunkin’ means an off-menu item created using the ingredients available in the chain’s kitchen. Dunkin’ promised to turn the three most appealing hacks into real selections on the chain’s menu. The three winners would also receive a $100 Dunkin’ gift card and a Dunkin’ onesie. Arby’s and Kraft have also run TikTok-centered campaigns.
While these represent some of the first major retailers to leverage TikTok for marketing in the U.S., others in the retail space have been making moves to accommodate the popular app. Major e-commerce platform Shopify recently inked a deal with TikTok to let merchants easily create TikTok videos to promote their products.
TikTok has demonstrated its potential as a vital, viral marketing channel for smaller U.S. retailers already. In September, mom-and-pop candy retailer Candy Me Up was able to use TikTok as a lifeline that helped it remain afloat and build a new remote customer base during the first round of pandemic shutdowns.
The “menu hack” or “secret menu” concept has long been a popular viral phenomenon. Websites like Secret Menus and Fast Food Menu Prices are dedicated in whole or in part to highlighting off-menu options available — or at least feasible — at fast food restaurants.
Restaurant receptiveness to menu hacks can vary. Starbucks has at times embraced the concept. For instance in 2016 the chain ran a promotion in which baristas were given free reign to devise their own concoctions. However, this holiday season, while Delish details how to order a Starbucks Candy Cane Cold Brew off the secret menu, it notes that customers attempting to order the off-menu concoction by name risk looking silly to the barista.
- TikTok becomes the next frontier for influencer marketing as Dunkin’, Arby’s tap the platform – Yahoo Finance
- Starbucks leverages barista creativity to drive sales – RetailWire
- Secret Menus – Secretmenus.com
- Fast Food Menu Prices – Fastfoodmenuprices.com
- You Can Order A Candy Cane Cold Brew From The Starbucks Secret Menu And Channel Your Inner Santa – Delish
- TikTok tops 2 billion downloads – TechCrunch
- Will Shopify merchants go viral with their TikTok videos? – RetailWire
- Retailer saves itself at the buzzer with TikTok – RetailWire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Will Dunkin’ find success with its menu hack campaign on TikTok? How should success and conversion be measured? Will TikTok videos become a part of every retailer’s social media presence?