On the rise: The BeReal App teaches brands how to appeal to Gen Z

BeReal is the latest app grabbing Gen Z’s attention and revealing more about their behaviors and values. Gen Z has differentiated themselves by appreciating genuine, realistic uses of social media. We’ve already seen them embrace “Finstas,” and campaigns about making Instagram casual again. Gen Z is desperate for any mental health relief when it comes to their online persona. The app entices younger crowds with promises of authenticity. “No filters, No followers, No ads, No bull-,” is stated on their TikTok bio, with over 47k followers and 250M views.

Here’s how it works: Users are given a brief, random time window once a day to post a candid image. The images snapped are simultaneously taken on both the front and back camera with a 2-minute countdown, leaving users unable to curate their images. To scroll through friend’s candid images, you must contribute a snap of your own. Missed the window? Users can post late but your post will be marked for tardiness.

BeReal screenshots Source: Apple App Store

BeReal has over 4 million downloads after sky rocketing US success in Q1 2022 gaining 30% of those downloads in February alone. The app gained major popularity amongst college students. Their Ambassador Program pays for on campus promotional events and parties, a familiar tactic successfully utilized by apps like Facebook and Bumble.

The app takes the intimacy of Snapchat, known by Gen Z for overbearing advertising, and combines it with the image sharing of Instagram, known for toxicity of perfectionism. Gen Z has increasingly voiced the harmful effects social media plays on their self-image and worth. 61% of Gen Zers are concerned about social media addiction and 87% say they could be influenced to delete their accounts for good.

Regardless of if BeReal’s success continues past initial buzz, these Gen Z trends embracing scarcity, simplicity, and equality are here to stay.

  • So, with trends steering away from overconsumption and no advertising, how does your brand get a seat at the table? Find ways to integrate your brand in the same ways your everyday consumers do, so it feels organic. Don’t make it all about you or the product. Showcase relatable, raw imagery of your employees, product, office life or just general life (or hire influencers that are really good actors).

  • Include all consumers. Diversity matters, especially to Gen Z. Take a page out of brand books like Spindrift and Wonder Kind Co. They balance showcasing product while also the authentic personality of employees and relatable work life content.

Having an online presence on more than just Facebook and Instagram are important for brand reception and sales. US consumers will spend $45.74 billion on social commerce purchases this year according to eMarketer. Social platforms like TikTok have quickly adapted to become full commerce funnels. TikTok has also shown the value of niche communities, like ones that can be found on rising apps such as BeReal.

You don’t have to throw your brand guidelines completely out the window, but it’s time to talk to consumers like real people. Join more platforms and interact with followers like any other social literate Gen Zer would. Get on board quick and embrace the ride.