Vinuri October 31, 2022

How unexpected brands got popular on Tiktok

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Ever since its inception, Tiktok has been an interesting platform for creators, it’s very fast moving and users love it! There is only so much time in a day, and everyone is busy figuring out how to fit the fastest to this ever-changing tiktok ecosystem. Therefore, as marketers, we have never been this busier. 


But one attribute on Tiktok remains constant: Creativity 


Getting straight to the point: TikTok is an entertainment platform fueled by creativity. Everyone is there to find something to connect with, and people keep coming back again and again for it. Some brands have figured their way out on this platform whilst some brands still haven’t. While success stories have creativity in its recipe there is something to learn from each brand channel.

Throughout our study on tiktok we came across an interesting report that we can call “now we are talking” by the Europe Advertising Week. This report puts together challenges faced by brands on tiktok gathering several industry professionals to reveal the way forward and thanks to this report we were inspired to create a blog article with a twist from our end. 


So, what were the lessons learned to shine on Tiktok?


Here goes  

Lesson 1: Compromising between agility and planning ahead

TikTok is a constantly-evolving platform. That’s something users love about it. But this poses a challenge for brands: especially for the more formal and corporate brands. Brands strive to keep up with the trends to stay relevant. On the other hand, brands need to comply with strict brand guidelines. As an agency we face this obstacle when staying agile, where there are times we had to make compromises and let go of creative opportunities to market, because the brand’s approval processes made it complex. But on a platform like Tiktok which keeps updating every week, it is even more challenging to capitalize on trends when brands take the traditional approach.

How we streamlined the process:


We had to do something about it and this is how we figured it out. If something is trending, our team will spot it because someone in the content team will share it in the group where everyone is present. Internally we will brainstorm to come up with creative ideas for brands and in the meantime the respective account managers will cross check the ideas with their brand teams while development and approvals happen simultaneously. For this to happen, the brand team supports us by staying active on a dedicated Whatsapp Group – once the call is made. This way we were able to jump on trends quickly and react to trends that matched each brand tone.

Lesson 2: Finding brand fit on the platform

TikTok makes it possible for brands to reach an audience that is younger and more digitally savvy than they may be used to, but it can also present some challenges. A lot of established and heritage brands are hesitant to use the platform because they fear they might not look good in a fun, youthful environment. But that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be exploring the possibilities. Because brands you never imagined would be on tiktok and never pictured are on and also on top of their game. 

If you want to get people involved with your brand, TikTok is a good place to start. People come to watch, enjoy and discover on the platform. Other platforms are more passive. On TikTok, people are actively taking part in the community. Even with longer form pieces, people are going to spend time and consume even if it’s from a brand.

Tom Skinner, TikTok Creative Lab’s UK and Europe Executive Creative Director shares some lessons learned from working on campaigns for the app –  

“Be big fans of putting your brand front and center because it gets good engagement, People don’t mind if the whole experience is in itself worthwhile”

Viewers don’t mind a little bit of advertising if it’s done tastefully and serves their needs. If it’s got a role, then people won’t shy away from it.


“Most importantly, be true to your brand. It might be that your tone is cheeky or irreverent, but equally there’s no harm in a luxury brand showing up and being aspirational on the platform. People expect that of them, it’s true to their nature” 

Lesson 3: Driving Discovery

If we tell you tiktok search is the new search engine, how far will you believe us? The discovery mindset where we used to google anything and everything that came to our mind is overtaken by a new social media and that is Tiktok. But it is in a new way where value is offered instantly. 


Let us explain. 

As per the report by Advertising week, there are two types of user behaviors:

  • There’s the people who wants to take time, search the best deals and plan out things with 50+ tabs open
  • And there’s another group of people who are at the other end of the planning spectrum—people who hate the planning process and want it to be seamless quick.

Tiktok’s popularity is accelerated by this second group of people. To help its audience discover new content, TikTok is experimenting with new ways to reach out to new audiences. Niusha Koucheksarai, TikTok’s director of marketing strategy and content, points out that people spend a lot of time on the platform—so much time that it seems like they’re watching a movie’s worth of content each day. That’s why TikTok works so well as a discovery platform: people find new brands and products, learn about new things to buy, or discover healthy habits and ways to improve their health and wellbeing (Source: Advertising week)

How to make this insight into use:

So how can brands make sure that they appear at the points for that discovery with those new audiences in the markets? It is by adding discovery content to the mix. But it will mean exploring the audiences in greater depth, to understand what will really matter.

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