Innovation and TikTok cartoon – Marketoonist

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The WSJ had an incredible characteristic final week on Chipotle and the “Keithadilla.”  It was an enchanting case research on the state of innovation within the age of TikTok developments.

In late 2022, a TikTok influencer named Keith Lee reinterpreted the Chipotle Quesadilla as an off-menu hack that included a DIY sauce combining Chipotle-Honey French dressing and bitter cream.  

Chipotle was quickly overwhelmed by a surge of customized orders for the Keithadilla.  The off-menu hack created an enormous logistical problem to Chipotle workers and their provide chain. Some employees refused to make it.

However in the end by February, only a few months later, Chipotle made the Keithadilla a everlasting menu merchandise, which included tech updates to three,200 eating places and coaching for 100,000 workers.

As CMO Chris Brandt put it: “We wish to be on the pulse of tradition.”

I really like how this story captures the stress between lengthy product growth cycles at corporations and ever-changing shopper tastes.  On the middle of the stress proper now’s TikTok, which Corey Robinson, chief product officer for Abercrombie & Fitch known as “a billion-person focus group.”

TikTok is an accelerant and amplifier, however the underlying rigidity is one thing that companies have at all times needed to navigate.

I keep in mind a Basic Mills exec who used to to inform entrepreneurs, “the pattern is your buddy.” Simpler mentioned than finished: when have you learnt {that a} pattern is actually a pattern and never only a fad?  

I keep in mind one debate at a stage gate assembly the place somebody argued {that a} explicit meals craze was a “Trad”, a made-up phrase that meant it had the sudden spike of a fad however would even have the endurance of a pattern.  On this case, in the end it was a fad that light quickly after the brand new merchandise have been launched.

Will the Keithadilla stand the take a look at of time?  Nobody is aware of, however companies that may work out the right way to construct in additional creativity, flexibility, and shopper engagement into their operations could have a bonus in a market that adjustments on the pace of TikTok.

Listed below are just a few associated cartoons I’ve drawn through the years:

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