Tiktok Is Changing the Way Brands Develop and Release Products

tiktok changing brands

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Google, Instagram and blogs were once the most popular places to discover trends and help leverage brands. Now, TikTok has become the driving force behind trends and the go-to place for companies that need to keep track of what’s new in their industry.

With over 50 million active users, TikTok has become a behemoth in the social media world and is changing the way companies develop and release products, according to an article by the Wall Street Journal.

Industries are taking advantage of the hype around new trends launched within the app to better understand their target audience and create products that engage with these consumers. And, with any luck, become the object of desire for active users of what is currently the most popular app around.

Brands influenced by TikTok

Aeropostale, for example, had a great idea that increased its profits in 2022. Through the “loose jeans” trend and with the remoteness of skinny jeans on TikTok, the brand was able to increase its offers of loose jeans, which grew from 7% of sales in 2020 to 40% in 2022 and saw a profit  increase of 15%.

“We’ve doubled down on TikTok since then because we see how strong the ROI is,” said Natalie Levy, CEO of SPARC Group – the joint venture between Simon Property Group and Authentic Brands Group. Aeropostale now works with dozens of TikTok influencers, including Lexi Hidalgo who has a reach of over 2 million followers on the platform.

Gap also saw in TikTok an opportunity to increase the brand’s valuation and managed to popularize its sweatshirt with the Gap logo, by sending the product to popular people on the social network. From there, sales of the product took off, even with initial resistance from the company’s CMO to creating a TikTok brand-exclusive.

But not everything is perfect…

With this relevance for TikTok among brands, American companies have become hostage to the whims of the application, as stated by the WSJ.

Chipotle, for example, added “Keithadilla,” a menu hack created by TikTok celebrities Keith Lee and Alexis Frost, to its menu. Chipotle saw in this case a way to incorporate a dish already popular on TikTok into its menu, attracting influencers to its stores.

But you must be wondering where the problem is in this? After all, Chipotle made a profit, right?

The viral quesadilla hack was a great organic marketing strategy for the Chipotle company. The problem is that with the boom of a quesadilla – which didn’t even exist in real life -, Chipotle employees started to show dissatisfaction with the changes generated by a viral trend from TikTok. OneTikTok user, @bmar1992, posted a video showing a sign she saw posted at her local Chipotle register.

“PROTEIN AND CHEESE ONLY IN THE QUESADILLA! No TikTok trends allowed,” reads the sign shown in the video.

At Starbucks, the viral drinks on TikTok became a nightmare for baristas who saw the hard-to-make drink recipes being spread across the internet.

Therefore, restaurants need to modify their menus to satisfy the demands generated by TikTok and relieve the stress of their workers.

But one thing is clear in all of this, TikTok will remain one of the most popular apps in the world and will continue to dictate trends and brand cancellations. It is important for companies to be more and more inserted into the application to take hold of trends and be able to get ahead of competitors.

There are brands doing great marketing on TikTok, whether intentional or not, and this is a great way for your business to gain fans and followers and increase brand awareness.

It is important to insert yourself in this environment and analyze the trends of the moment. However, it is important to draw limits so that your brand is not designed by TikTok, and loses a little of its essence by becoming a puppet of the application. Moderation, always!

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