The De-Influencing trend is proving itself to be a worthy opponent of influencer marketing. It first emerged on TikTok but has since gained widespread popularity on other social media platforms. This trend has been well received by TikTok users but not so much by brands that rely on influencer marketing for sales success.
This trend is making waves on social media platforms. The main question is: does this trend herald the end of influencer-brand partnerships?
Table of contents
- What Is the De-influencing Trend?
- Where Did It Begin?
- The Benefits of De-influencing
- The Drawbacks of De-influencing
- How Is the Beauty Industry Coping?
- The De-influencing Trend: A Threat to Brands?
- The De-influencing Trend: A Win For Gen Z?
What Is the De-influencing Trend?
The term ‘de-influencing’ is self-explanatory. It usually involves a review or comparison of two products/services, one of an acclaimed brand and the other of a lesser-known brand. Typically, the ‘de-influencer’ offers an impartial review.
This trend proved to be an instant hit with TikTok users. It started as a beauty trend but it soon made its way to the entire influencer market. Gen Z social media users have gotten on board with this trend since it first started.
Where Did It Begin?
It all started on TikTok when a user reviewed a beauty/skincare product, claiming it does not live up to the hype. Influencer-brand partnerships can misguide users into buying products that may not be worth their money. By making a deal with popular influencers, brands ensure sales success.
It’s the oldest trick in the book – to use a popular public figure to promote products/services. However, it comes with its own set of drawbacks. The most apparent being; the influencer promoting a brand because of an agreement and not because of the product itself.
The hashtag #deinfluencing originated from TikTok and has now made its way to most, if not all, social media platforms. This trend does not seem to be slowing down and in the coming months, brands should brace themselves for an influx of de-influencers.
The Benefits of De-influencing
There are numerous benefits to de-influencing. This 2023 trend has transformed brand-influencer partnerships. For consumers, the de-influencing trend helps them make informed purchases.
This trend questions the relevance of traditional PR strategies. This TikTok trend is making headlines for all the right reasons. It is common to find influencers talking about brand new products in the market with the same rehearsed reviews.
But if there’s one thing online buyers will tell you, it’s that the only way to find out whether or not a product is truly worth buying is by going through user reviews. This can guide customers to make the right purchases.
Reforms the Influencer Culture
If it isn’t obvious already, the influencer culture requires reform. There are millions of social media users that rely on influencers for product recommendations. By partnering with brands, most influencers blindly promote their products.
It is rare to find influencers that give honest reviews. This is where de-influencing comes in. It breaks down popular product reviews/promotions and offers insight to customers. This is a win for consumers but a loss for brands that use influencer marketing.
The most apparent benefit to this trend is that it limits overconsumption. It’s no secret that popular influencer opinions drive sales. This results in an overconsumption of products. The frenzy created by influencers, when a new product enters the market, leads to overconsumption.
The ‘de-influencing’ trend keeps this in check. For example, if a de-influencer offers a cheaper local alternative that works just as well, if not better, then it can be a solution to the problem. The authenticity of user-reviews seems to be a big hit with consumers.
Supports the Local Industry
This new trend is proving to be highly advantageous to the local industry. By offering makeup ‘dupes’ of high end products, de-influencers are giving local makeup brands a service. This can help stimulate local business growth.
There are other ways this trend supports the local industry. It can enforce a positive image of the brand and make it more visible on social media platforms. This works in the favour of small brands that are just starting out their business.
Drives Organic Growth
For ‘de-influencers’, this is the best news. If they’re giving out honest product reviews, they’re likely to acquire an organic following on social media platforms. This can help them grow as an authentic influencer.
This trend can filter out authentic influencers from unauthentic ones. This can result in an improved system of influencer marketing. This benefits both consumers and de-influencers.
The Drawbacks of De-influencing
This trend comes with its drawbacks. It has jolted the long-reigning marketing strategy. As a result, brands are left with no choice but to reconsider their reliance on this type of marketing. Influencer marketing is cost-effective, which is why it is preferred by brands.
However, the onset of this trend has led many businesses to seek different approaches.
The disadvantages of de-influencing only seem to be affecting brands and influencers. For everyone else, it seems to be beneficial. This trend is still relatively new but it has proven to be highly consequential for some brands.
Here are some of the drawbacks of this TikTok trend.
Exposes Influencer Marketing
The expression “never meet your heroes” rings true in influencer marketing. It is common to find influencers promoting products as a part of the bargain. Influencer marketing is a highly profitable business so it’s only logical to expect ingenuine promotions.
This trend is showing the influencer market for what it truly is. It shows its unreliability as a source. In case of an exposé, influencers end up receiving a lot of backlash from followers for promoting the product or brand. This can ruin an influencer’s career for good.
Tarnishes Brand Image
If there’s any lesson social media marketing has taught us, it’s to never underestimate its power. Most brands have built their brand identity on this knowledge. But as this TikTok trend gains more popularity, brands can no longer rely exclusively on this approach.
The reputational risk associated with de-influencing is serious. As mega brands receive backlash from users on platforms like TikTok and Instagram, they have to come up with new strategies. For any brand, big or small, its image is crucial.
How Is the Beauty Industry Coping?
This trend is making waves in the beauty industry. Most makeup and beauty brands partner with popular influencers to market their products. The De-influencing trend seems to have the most hard-hitting effects on the makeup industry.
This can make big beauty brands reconsider their product’s prices, material sourcing practices and even their product packaging. This can be an excellent opportunity for brands to innovate. The beauty industry is no exception to criticism from customers.
Therefore, it’s essential for beauty brands to accept the de-influencing trend. It can work in their favour if they choose to take it as an opportunity to re-invent. There are two perspectives to this trend. It all depends on which one the brand considers.
The De-influencing Trend: A Threat to Brands?
For years big brands have relied on influencer-brand partnerships for promoting their products and services. This latest TikTok trend seems to present a threat to the conventional PR strategy. However, this gives brands an opportunity to reform their strategy to keep up with the times.
The only way out for brands seems to be by improving their product and making it more appealing to the consumer. Big brands can no longer hide behind their brand identity as de-influencers upload honest product reviews.
This trend also requires brands to consider a reputational management system as a precaution. If not, it can cause serious damage. The power of social media can be reflected in the de-influencing trend.
The De-influencing Trend: A Win For Gen Z?
This trend is a win for the Gen Z. It has led influencers to re-evaluate the popularity of influencer marketing. As a result, it has made product promotions on social media platforms more transparent. This has led to consumers making more informed choices.
The De-influencing trend only seems to be gaining more momentum. It is high-time that brands reform their marketing strategies. This trend just goes to show how consumer behaviour is changing in 2023. For many, this is a positive development.
Have you been de-influenced? Feel free to share your experience with us in the comment section down below.
Featured Image: Pepper Your Content