If you’re wondering whether your brand should be on TikTok in 2021, the answer would be: absolutely. Why not? The platform offers unique opportunities for brands to engage with a younger demographic, particularly those classified as Gen Z and Millennials. TikTok has seen tremendous growth and success in the MENA region, particularly in the GCC, ranking among the top downloads on both iPhone and Android devices.
It is estimated that 50% of TikTok’s audience are under 34, with those of the age bracket and below possessing great buying power. As such, there are undeniable opportunities for Arab and regional brands to grow and connect with a range of new consumers. If you’re looking to strengthen your online engagement with a younger base, you have to speak the language they’re speaking. Unlike other social media platforms, content on TikTok should be driven by user innovation and creativity. Unique users are looking for stripped-down, relatable and authentic content, as the success of the platform lies in its inclusive nature. The polished and curated Instagram content, for example, doesn’t seem to resonate with TikTok users.
Brands are encouraged to embrace and engage with TikTok trends as well as interact with users on the platform through a community-driven approach to showcase their art, creativity and multifaceted personalities. Fashion is in the top five most popular content categories on TikTok, amassing over 17 billion hashtags. Users are intrigued and want to learn more about fashion and the industry in general. “We’ve seen the fashion industry reinvent what luxury fashion means to culture and society through TikTok, by bringing fashion into the homes of our community during quarantine,” says CeCe Vu, fashion content partnerships lead at TikTok.
Many designers, such as Gucci, JW Anderson and Céline, are capitalizing on the platform’s success. Gucci, for instance, jumped on the #GucciModelChallenge, despite the hashtag having no association with the brand. Users re-created the Gucci-esque look using random items in their wardrobe. After taking note of the hashtag’s success, the Italian luxury house created their own version of the trend by incorporating Gucci items. The challenge has since accumulated over 300 million views.
Most recently, JW Anderson, too, responded to a viral challenge titled “What I Would Wear At a Front Row Designer Show.” TikTok creators were sent JW Anderson items and were asked to envision what they would wear to the brand’s show. “It’s always been important for JW Anderson to work with new technologies and platforms. I think TikTok is challenging norms and innovating the way JW Anderson does,” says Jonathan Anderson, founder and creative director at JW Anderson.
In 2020, TikTok announced the debut of #TikTokFashionMonth, a new initiative where designers were invited to live stream their shows. Major fashion houses such as Prada, Louis Vuitton and Saint Laurent all took part in the platform’s initiative.
There is no clear recipe when it comes to a creator’s success on TikTok. However, if you’re trying to secure the next generation’s attention, then TikTok is something you should definitely consider.