Chick-Fil-A Fumbles and Shake Shack Comes Out On Top

Rigidity's a bad look for brands these days

The internet is abuzz over Chick-Fil-A's epic fail in seizing a golden influencer opportunity.

The quick service restaurant recently directed employee and TikTok content creator Mirithesiren to stop making her positive social media videos reviewing menu items. Even though several of Miri's clips had gone viral, and she had driven thousands of followers to sample the cuisine, the company told her it was against policy for employees to make content about the brand. Chick-Fil-A also turned down the opportunity to collaborate with Miri on future projects.

So, Miri complied, and many of her followers registered their disappointment.

That's when competitor Shake Shack swooped in and partnered with Miri to craft content about its chicken sandwich offerings. In a diabolical twist, the Shake Shack chicken sandwich video dropped on a Sunday, when Chick-Fil-A wasn't open.

Now, Miri's Shake Shack video has gone viral, and her followers (who now surpass 100,000) are jumping at the chance to try her latest recommendation. 

This has turned into a huge miss for Chick-Fil-A—but it didn't have to be.

The brand was so rigid with its employee social media policy that it actually created an opportunity for a competitor to connect with an audience that had been cultivated on its behalf. Chick-Fil-A doesn't even post content on TikTok, so leveraging Miri would have been a great low-risk way for the brand to introduce itself on the platform.

Brands everywhere must remember that flexibility is important when it comes to marketing, and they must be willing to pivot when a positive creative opportunity comes their way.

For all the brand's talk about wanting their audience to "Eat Mor Chikin," they shut the door way too soon on an influencer who was inspiring viewers to do just that.

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