After noticing that its Munchkin Lip Balms and branded nail polishes did particularly well in sales, Dunkin’ takes a deeper dip into the TikTok influencer pool through an extended partnership with platform princess Charli D’Amelio. Here’s what the move says about TikTok in the marketing world.
It’s no surprise that TikTok truly blew up during the pandemic. But the platform is proving to be more than just a one-time fad as brands of all backgrounds continue to drive actual sales from it. Vita Coco, for example, recently claimed a 15% increase in sales one week after “nature’s cereal” took a turn in the spotlight on TikTok. Dunkin’ already treaded into TikTok territory when it first partnered with D’Amelio to make the official “Charli” drink. The Charli x Dunkin’ merchandise line, which rolled out in late March, is an expansion of that partnership. Items range in price from a $16 keychain to $100 cold brew tap handle, plus smaller goodies like scrunchies, tumblers, a onesie, shoelaces, and a phone case.
Dunkin’s latest drop demonstrates how brands, especially restaurants that may have had to shut down during the pandemic, can still meet consumers where they are, as observed in Gartner’s Digital IQ Index: Restaurants. Along with amplified drive-in capabilities, Dunkin’s advancement into TikTok is an example of another way for brands to make the most of all social media avenues and stay afloat amidst the crisis. Though merchandise has always been an element of brand image, promoting it via the platform, or better yet, in partnership with one of TikTok’s elite, could emphasize visibility at a time when it’s specifically hard to come by. Food and drink partnerships, in particular, exude extra potential for sales as they drive repeat purchases. Though TikTok may have started as a place for brands to sprinkle in a few marketing stunts, it has become a real solution for the sales problem of the pandemic. Brands looking to succeed post-pandemic should be sure not to glaze over TikTok.