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The TikTok Effect on Brand Success, With Clinique, Kraft, and More Enjoying Virality

"TikTok made me buy it" is the new mantra for viral success.
Cover Image Source: TikTok app on a smartphone screen | Photo by Matt Cardy | Getty Images
Cover Image Source: TikTok app on a smartphone screen | Photo by Matt Cardy | Getty Images

A single viral post has the power to take brands to new heights, and influencers from Gen Z are revolutionizing the dynamics of marketing. In a TikTok video, Shannon (@shanniedarko_) shared a video in which she was seen applying Clinique's Black Honey lipstick, stating that it was the same shade used by actress Liv Tyler in the movie "Lord of the Rings." This post proved to be a game-changer for Clinique. The Black Honey shade, initially launched nearly fifty years ago, quickly garnered immense popularity, becoming one of the best-selling items in the company's portfolio.

 Image Source: Pexels|Photo by Ron Lach
Image Source: Pexels | Photo by Ron Lach

TikTok has more than 1 billion users across 160 countries, making it one of the largest social media platforms across the globe, and most definitely an ideal place for brands to maintain a strong presence. The platform has evolved into a space where influencers share their experiences with products, taking their followers along the journey. Occasionally, the content gains enough traction to go viral, proving highly lucrative for the company and contributing to a strong brand image.

According to the annual rankings on the fastest-growing brands of 2023 by Morning Consult, the brands that achieved virality on TikTok experienced increased demand among Gen Z consumers. A common thread among these viral posts is that Gen Z influencers often showcase decades-old products, aiming to evoke nostalgia among their followers. Brands such as Clinique, Dollar General, Kraft, and Victoria’s Secret are reaping the benefits of this success, translating into substantial revenue.

Image Source: Photo by cottonbro studio | Pexels
Image Source: Photo by cottonbro studio | Pexels

TikTok launched TikTok shop in September of 2023 and encouraged influencers to generate revenue by marketing and selling products to their followers. TikTokers are actively using this platform as a search engine to explore and understand various products. Brands have recognized TikTok's role as a search engine and are implementing dedicated strategies, collaborating with influencers to create authentic content with their products.

Content formats like reviews and Q&A sessions not only drive engagement but also contribute to increased sales. Moreover, to fully harness TikTok's potential, brands are advised to adopt an organic strategy. Instead of relying on advertisements or sponsored posts, they must identify influencers genuinely fond of their products and encourage them to share their experiences. Once such posts gain traction, companies invest efforts to amplify their reach, collaborating with influencers to craft dedicated marketing campaigns for prolonged impact.

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A post shared by TikTok Shop UK (@tiktokshop_uk)


According to a recent survey conducted by the Pew Research Center, approximately 32% of teenagers use TikTok multiple times a day, making it an optimal platform for brands to establish a strong presence. An intriguing aspect of how Gen Z and other TikTok users make purchasing decisions is their preference for original content over sponsored material. Rather than seeking out sponsored content, users are more inclined towards authentic narratives where someone they admire or follow shares their real-life experience with a product.

While brands still need to generate awareness about their products through various channels, the key lies in influencers organically incorporating these products into their content. If influencers genuinely appreciate and use the products, they are more likely to share their positive experiences with their followers, creating a more authentic connection with the audience.