How Brands are Leveraging TikTok to Appeal to GenZ And Market Their Products

Ever since quarantine and social distancing has become the new norm, TikTok is having a major moment among brands, influencers, and basically everyone! In the past couple of months, all our social media feeds are filled with TikTok videos or challenges. Whether it is the dalgona coffee trend or Drake’s Toosie Slide dance, everyone is trying their hands on it. The platform went from a teen gimmick to a core part of the marketing equation for many fashion brands quickly. Brands all over the world are flocking to TikTok as they aim to engage with millennials, and when they get it right, they are seeing very positive results.    

Back in 2018, Luxury Brands like Calvin Klein and Ralph Lauren were some of the first few that added TikTok to their marketing strategy. Cut to 2020 and Prada, Alice + Olivia, Dolce & Gabbana, Tory Burch, Burberry, Missoni, etc are jumping onto the platform. Luxury brands are usually not so swift when it comes to adopting new trends, but we guess it is safe to say that TikTok has changed that completely. 

Fashion brands that were using the platform are counting on an uptick in time spent on the app as Covid-19 continues to spread. The userbase for the app is growing substantially and this gives brands a huge opportunity to join the conversation. With so many brands having to close down their stores and being massively hit by the pandemic, TikTok is a platform that is helping brands to connect with customers without overselling their products. 

Aerie, an intimate apparel and lifestyle retailer was able to establish a TikTok following within 2 weeks. After having to close down all of their stores in the USA & Canada, Aerie started focusing on how to evolve its marketing strategy, and of course, TikTok was a no brainer. Having a big GenZ audience and brand ambassadors like Iskra Lawrence, Denise Mercedes, and Charli D’Amelio, they knew they could draw high engagement from the platform. 

Aerie launched its TikTok account on 15th April with a sponsored post #AerieRealPositivity hashtag challenge. The challenge was kick-started by TikTok influencer Charli D’Amelio who has a tremendous following of 51.5 million followers. The challenge asked users to share 3 things that they are thankful for and using the sponsored hashtag. With this one campaign, the brand was able to get nearly 10,000 likes and 76,700 views within a couple of days.

In just 2 weeks after the challenge was first launched, Aerie earned 17,400-plus followers, 6,600 #AerieRealPositivity videos were shared on the platform which together saw more than 1.3 billion views. Wow, now that is massive! The brand did not just gain followers on TikTok but also gained 16,000 new Instagram followers in a week and a significant increase in traffic on their #AerieReal Life homepage. The campaign was able to connect with the millennials which in turn lead to the challenge going viral on the platform. 

Another brand that is making big waves when it comes to TikTok is Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty. The brand embraced TikTok by fabricating a content creation house called the Fenty Beauty TikTok House with a group of five creators chosen by Rihanna, (including Dawn Morante @thedawndishsoap) and Emmy Combs (@emmycombss).  

Apparently, the house will have a fully-stocked makeup pantry, beauty stations, and lots of good lighting for making the best beauty content. Rihanna said “Our generation is so innovative. I wanted to create a platform for the next wave of content creators. Fenty Beauty House is a hub that will bring this influential community together so they can collaborate.” TikTok is the perfect match for a brand like Fenty Beauty, which is known to promote GenZ favored issues like diversity and inclusivity. The #fentybeauty hashtag has over 44 million views on TikTok and #fentybeautyhouse has gained 10 million views within just three weeks. 

According to a TikTok spokesperson, Fenty did not run any paid advertising on the platform to help promote the house, nor does it plan to in the future. Instead, the brand is depending on the following of Fenty and the creators living in the house. 

Fenty Beauty is now the first brand that has a beauty house dedicated to creating content for TikTok. It might be the first but we can see a lot of beauty brands coming up with similar plans in the future to connect with their millennial audience. 

Brand and marketers are hungry for finding new ways to connect with the GenZ as their spending power and influence are on a rise. TikTok has become a means for brands to build a community and invite consumers to make them feel like they are a part of the brand. Forcing products by paid promotions has now become unappealing to the GenZ so brands have to be on top of their game in order to appeal to them again. 

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