Teri’s take: TikTok’s expert influencers & the power of customer feedback
Hawaii-based skincare influencer Hyram Yarbro has emerged as the de facto ruler of the TikTok ‘skinfluencers’, with 5 million followers amassed over the course of less than 5 months. An endorsement by Yarbro means big sales for brands. Peace Out Skincare’s pore strip sales saw a fourfold increase in 24 hours after Yarbro did one of his famous duets with influencer Kaelyn White while using the product. Derrick Booker, VP of marketing at CeraVe, commented,“He built a really strong following for his authenticity. He’s really a skin-care expert and takes the time to share his skin-care knowledge with his followers and with his fans.”
Today, infomercials with actors portraying dentists, dermatologists, or doctors won’t cut it. Modern consumers can see through highly produced endorsements and instead look to people they know or actual industry experts when making purchase decisions, especially when it pertains to beauty products. Many influencers are experts in their own right. From professional makeup artists to Instagram-famous dermatologists, these tastemakers have the power to make or break a brand. Companies looking to generate massive amounts of brand awareness and invaluable social proof should do research to identify reputable experts in their industry and build genuine relationships.
Native, a DTC personal care brand known for its simple, safe, and effective ingredients, recently committed to offering sustainable packaging for all its products by 2023, starting with its paper-based deodorant applicator. In late 2018, customers started voicing concerns about plastic-free packaging to Native. The company tracked those requests on its social channels, customer service calls, and surveys found that over the past year, requests for sustainable packaging increased by more than 900%.
After making the beta switch from plastic to paper, the brand listened closely to feedback from early adopters and changed a few things about the packaging before the full rollout. Native developed a natural presence in the popular clean beauty and low-waste community, sponsoring YouTubers like the Zero Waste Couple, Meghan Hughes, and Itsblitzzz. A spokesperson from Native’s agency explained that Native’s cult-like following has made organic growth easier, stating, “They have over 15,000 five-star reviews from consumers and are able to leverage that and let their consumers tell the story.”
Customers’ value doesn’t end at their ability to purchase. In fact, customers can be some of the best sources of innovation. It makes sense — who better to make a product that consumers will love than consumers themselves? Native’s ability to listen and implement product feedback is setting itself up to increase brand loyalty and affinity, which in turn boosts revenue in the long run.
American Eagle is handing creative control over to Gen Zers for its #AExME back-to-school campaign, working with a new group of young stars to direct, shoot, and produce the campaign remotely on Zoom.The brand has debuted its #AExME campaign with a video inspired by TikTok and its creative relevance to young consumers. Set to the song Boa Noite by Tropkillaz, the campaign features 7 ambassadors, including mega TikTok star, Addison Rae, all of whom sport clothes from AE’s new fall collection.
AE creative director Michael Goldberg explains, “I was inspired by the incredible talent of real kids producing innovative creative content in social media. I watched YouTube editing tutorials made by actual TikTok creators, and the entire campaign was truly built around what is happening on TikTok today. But I didn’t want to just imitate or reproduce that content in our campaign. By truly co-creating with these young dancers, it became a creative collaboration and a chance for AE to really participate in youth culture.” Goldberg added that a primary goal with the #AExME platform is to have ambassadors offer customers style inspiration through their own style preferences, rather than suggestions from the brand.
One of the best tips for engaging with your audience is to meet them where they are. American Eagle knows that most of its young audience who will go back-to-school shopping is on TikTok. Tiktok is loved by Gen Zers because the app gives real people a platform to express themselves in any way they want, while fostering community through shared trends.
Instead of creating content imitating TikTokers’ unique talent to capture their audience’s attention in 15-second clips, the brand brought in some of the top stars to co-create content that will truly resonate. 61% of businesses said that co-creation leads to more successful products. Co-creation, whether it be content, marketing, or a product gives brands the opportunity to gather insights and feedback from the people who matter most, to improve innovation, increase cost efficiency, and raise presence in new areas.