Raise your hand if a viral TikTok trend has personally victimized your wallet 🙋♀️
Among many other emerging trends, 2020 was undoubtedly the year TikTok dominated social media, and I will admit even I have fallen victim to the buying temptation that comes along with watching captivating TikTok videos. The platform has shown no mercy for consumer wallets, with countless products going viral thanks to the millions of reviews on the video-sharing social network. If you have ever wondered why certain unexpected products have been sold out at your local Target or ULTA, the culprit could likely be TikTok. Let’s dive into an overview of the growing social media platform and 11 product trends that went viral on TikTok over the past year.
What is TikTok?
TikTok is a short-form video-sharing app that allows users to create and share 15- to 60-second videos on any topic. TikTok is one of the fastest-growing social media platforms globally, giving consumers an alternative version of online sharing. Users have a wealth of creative freedom to produce short videos with music, filters, hashtags, and other features.
The social media platform stands out from its competitors Youtube, Instagram, and Facebook by being an entertainment platform first and a lifestyle platform second. What makes the app so attractive to users is that anyone can become a popular content creator because of the user simplicity and inclusive algorithm.
What do CPG brands need to know about TikTok?
TikTok is available in more than 150 countries and has been downloaded over 200 million times just within the United States. If your brand’s target audience includes anyone between the ages of 13 and 40, TikTok is the right social media platform to add to your marketing mix.
TikTok is extremely popular with Generation Z, which influences the content users will see on the platform. Sixty-two percent of TikTok users in the U.S. are between the ages of 10 and 29. Even though TikTok appeals primarily to younger generations, it seems to retain its audience as they grow up. There is a heap of TikTok content focusing on beauty, food, beverage, home, kitchen, and even apparel products, which are all popular categories with Gen Zers.
TikTok places sellers, brands, and businesses on an equal playing field when reaching and engaging with new audiences. Due to the app’s algorithm, users with only a few followers can share content that receives millions of views. Depending on the content’s appeal, the right audience is easy to find, and the views and engagement will follow. Like other social media platforms, TikTok also has a community of creative influencers working with brands to promote their products and services.
To name a few, top brands like Chipotle, Coca-Cola, and Calvin Klein have successfully participated in TikTok marketing campaigns to reach a new audience, particularly teenagers. There is untapped potential to reach new audiences on TikTok by creating content in-house or partnering with influencers on the platform that your ideal audience is already engaging with. TikTok is working hard to get more brands on the network and recently introduced a new analytics feature to help marketers measure their TikTok performance.
The mix of the app’s one-of-a-kind algorithm with all the free time that emerged during the pandemic is a recipe for success and something CPG brands should consider exploring. Below is an overview of products that went viral on TikTok and flooded the discover page throughout the past year. Take note of the kind of videos they posted and influencers they partnered with to gain views!
The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution
The Ordinary is a beauty brand best known for making high-quality, science-driven products at industry-changing prices. With the help of TikTok, The Ordinary became an exceptionally well-known brand with popular skincare products such as this one.
e.l.f. Hydrating Camo Concealer
This full-coverage e.l.f. Camo Concealer impressed many TikTok users with its ability to cover and blend for a low price. The product is widely available at local drugstores and is said to perform the same, if not better, than its high-end competitors.
Tree Hut Shea Sugar Scrub
A product I have seen many times in TikTok beauty routines is the Tree Hut Shea Sugar Scrub. The scrub gained popularity for its low price tag and ability to smooth your skin thoroughly. Not only was it praised for great results, but the brand also offers over 22 different scents to choose from.
Revlon One-Step Hair Dryer
TikTok became obsessed with the Revlon One-Step Hair Dryer in early 2020 due to its low price point and high-quality results. The hair brush/hair dryer gives you a blowout at home with minimal effort or hairstyling skill.
Food & Beverage Trends
We all love and depend on our morning coffee rituals. Whipped coffee (also known as phenti hui in India, where the drink originated before going viral in the U.S.) is a caffeinated beverage consisting of instant coffee, sugar, and milk. In 2020, the app was flooded with tutorials on how to whip up this addicting drink.
Yes, I said pancake cereal. Pancake cereal is the creation of super tiny, coin-sized pancakes that you eat like a bowl of cereal. It’s a unique, cute, and fun trend that TikTok users tried all around the world.
The pandemic impacted adult beverage consumption, and since the places where you would typically order a fancy drink were closed, consumers had to get creative with their at-home cocktails. Many users on Tiktok were making alcoholic slushies with a blend of their favorite seltzer, vodka, and frozen fruit.
Home & Kitchen Trends
LED Strip Lights
With more consumers spending time at home and staring at the same walls day in and day out, it was time to redecorate. LED strip lights gained TikTok popularity very quickly on the platform. At one point, if you looked up “TikTok” on Amazon, you were instantly redirected to their LED light offerings. Talk about an in-demand product!
Filtering Shower Head
This showerhead quickly gained the attention of TikTok users with its high water pressure and unique beads that help filter out harmful chemicals and chlorine from your water. The purpose of the device is to promote a positive change in your skin and hair. It makes sense given the huge shift towards health and wellness that emerged from the pandemic!
Bissell Little Green Portable Spot and Stain Cleaner
Believe it or not, there is a cleaning niche on TikTok where before and after videos using cleaning products are all the buzz. This Bissell gadget gained a significant following after TikTokers began posting videos of its impressive performance. And with all the individuals who adopted puppies during the pandemic and those who decided to give their homes a deep clean every weekend, I can’t say I’m surprised.
Air fryers might be the product of the year based on how many people purchased and gifted the appliance to family and friends. You can frequently see creators on TikTok experimenting with air fryers, using them to share recipes for quick, easy, and healthy meals like crispy salmon, potatoes, and brussel sprouts. Anyone else craving air-fried salmon now?
You never know what will go viral on Tiktok, and as a marketer or brand entrepreneur, it can’t hurt to expand your knowledge of the growing platform. There’s no better time than now to begin building a presence on TikTok. While the platform may seem foreign to parts of the CPG world, it proves to be a powerful tool for many brands.
Stay tuned for my next article, where we’ll dive deep into how to market your CPG products on TikTok.
Are you a retail buyer interested in finding brands that are trending on social media? Check out our Instagram Collection here.