Culture Hack

The Rise of De-influencing

Content creators are often known for influencing us on what to buy, but of late, have been flipping the script by engaging in “de-influencing,” or the practice of informing an audience on what not to buy.

As Larry Milstein, the founder of Gen-Z consulting agency PRZM, says with TikTok becoming a search engine among Gen Z, knowing what to ‘avoid’ can sometimes be just as critical as researching what to buy. 

But, the current rise of the-influencing goes deeper than that. Sarah Spruch Feiner for Glossy said it best, “De-influencing” speaks to a convergence of cultural factors: There’s a deluge of beauty launches, the beauty industry is more crowded — and wasteful — than ever, and influencers, makeup artists, and beauty editors are overwhelmed by the sheer volume of stuff. It’s as simple as not feeding into the overconsumption of products that aren’t worth the price or could even have great dupes. The hashtag #deinfluencing on TikTok currently has 96.3M views and continues to grow.”

The pace at which products go viral thanks to social media reviews can be mind-boggling, particularly in the beauty industry. The phrase “TikTok made me buy it” has gone from a general thing people said to display advertisements at local drugstores.

This is something that brands must pay close attention to as they can come in the crossfires of being “de-influenced”. It could also be an opportunity for these brands to not only take advantage of the product feedback they receive from these videos to implement in product development, but strengthen their community management efforts to show they are listening. 

From a social standpoint, the rising trend of de-influencing may open the door for more transparency in the brand-creator relationship, particularly it gives the authentic approach that not all products serve each individual the same, and there is room for interpretation and discussion. 

It is important to say that although this wave of “de-influencing” can cost brands some impulse-purchase revenue, it provides an opportunity for brands to enter into  partnerships and creator relationships authentically while listening to criticism to establish further trust and brand affinity.

Mariam Gonzalez