WARNING. EXTREME HUNGER MAY DEVELOP THROUGHOUT THE COURSE OF THIS ARTICLE.
Memes, GIFS, novelty events and stories, they fill our news feeds; our social media profiles are flooded with them. Although, in recent times there seems to be one trend that has dominated this kind of content more than most. Chicken nuggets.
We've seen beastly Southern America inspired restaurants crop up in The Midlands. These eateries are offering bottomless chicken nugget parties, epic sized chicken nuggets (equating to 86 normal sized chicken nuggets) and a mountain of battered chicken breast being passed off as a worldly birthday cake.
Back in 2017 an American teen demonstrated just how much power and influence chicken nuggets actually have when he made history with the most retweeted tweet of all time. The entire internet wanted to see him win the prize of all prizes: a lifetime supply of nuggs.
Proving the chicken nugget trend isn't over yet is an entire festival dedicated to chicken nuggets set to take place this coming summer in both Manchester and London.
Some may call this nugget craze an extremely popular trend while others may call it a simple human need (personally we agree with the latter… Maslow, redesign your triangle.)
Despite veganism and vegetarianism on the rise, the chicken nugget seems to have become a huge part of popular culture. Everybody seems to love them, and over the past year or so we’ve seen this trend grow from strength to strength.
However, all joking aside, why has the chicken nugget become such a big online and content hit (besides the fact they taste good)? What can marketers learn from the trend that has so many of us craving chicken nugget filled baths, bottomless chicken tender parties and festivals exclusively dishing up fried chicken?
1. Being aware of trends and social movements is key.
As a brand or marketer, its vital to always be switched on. Trends move quickly and having one eye on the ball at all times maximises your chances of coming up with a new product, service or campaign that positions itself in current conversation. 'Jumping on a band wagon' shouldn't necessarily be seen as a negative thing, or as following the heard. A brand who identifies what their audience is currently enjoying can benefit from maximised exposure, interest and engagement. Take the above examples. The Nugzilla challenge was created by the Rub Smokehouse, a restaurant specialising in 'Epic Food'. Awareness of the chicken nugget trend drove them to create a dish that caught the attention of millions and drew customers to their restaurant from afar.
2. Understanding your audience is vital.
Despite the previous point, trends are often only trends within certain demographics. Take the flared jean for example. Still something only your Mother wears, right? Adhering to trends and evolving your brand or product around them only works if your core audience is interested and currently engaging with that trend. Take the Chicken Nugget Festival as an example. This event is hosted by We Love Food, a community of food lovers who host food festivals around the UK. Other events hosted by this mouth watering company are cheese festivals, coffee festivals and gluten-free festivals, just to name a few.
So, what's making this F&B company such a success? They get their audience. With a target demographic of Millennials and young professionals living in the city, We Love Food understand what their audience wants. A keen interest in street food, festivals and novelty events make this audience ideal for their unique offering. Both males and females, aged between 18-30 often crave Instagramable experiences, hipster trends and over priced eateries (we can say this, because we do to). We Love Food have tailored their USP and offering around these characteristics - there's a reason you don't see them hosting Spotted Dick or Bread & Butter Pudding festivals.
3. Don't neglect the insights. Monitor shared demographic experiences, and be relatable.
The previous point leads to the next. Create a brand or product that's relatable to your key audience. Understanding what issues or experiences your audience share is a great way of positioning yourself as relatable.
By identifying your audience's pains and gains you can come up with a relatable content strategy or campaign. Take the chicken nugget trend for example. The audience mainly engaging with this trend are Millennials and Gen Z. Their shared experiences are likely to be: extortionate rent, (which often leaves them with little disposable income), full time working hours and no hope of starting (affording) a family any time soon. The chicken nugget trend fuels relatable content creation around these shared situations. A chicken nugget is a small win for this demographic; the fix to almost anything... £3.78 left in your bank account? Nuggets. Been a long day at the office? Nuggets? Drunk at 3am of a Saturday?... you get the picture... NUGGETS.
Chicken nuggets are a lighthearted example, but on a deeper level we're talking about real strategy, planning and research. When creating a new campaign, a true insight into a demographic regarding behaviour and living situations can lead to engaging and desirable campaigns and services. The chicken nugget trend goes to show how a thorough strategy is vital for creating hard hitting and relatable outputs.
4. Creating sharable products and experiences is where it's at.
Social media plays a huge part in day to day life. Brands are using it to connect with their audience and showcase their offering. Consumer are using it to catch up on the latest and engage with friends and the wider world. People often user social media as a way of sharing their experiences. People want others to know what they're doing. So, creating sharable moments and Instagramable gestures (read our post The Importance of Creating Sharable Instagram Moments for more on this) should be a vital part of your offering. Whether it's quaint latte art or over the top and unusual chicken dishes, create something that stands out. Design something that will push people to share online, to show off, to spread the word.
"Create novelty and sharable moments and your customers will do the marketing for you."
Follow Rub Smokehouse on Instagram here.