To purchase or not to purchase? That is the question. An image of a sleek matte finished water bottle stares back at you from your online shopping cart. It promises to be better than the seven other water bottles you have crammed into your kitchen cabinets. It’s just arrived back in stock after going viral all over social media. Must be something to it…to purchase…or not to purchase…
In today’s world, social media has become one of the most powerful tools for businesses to promote their products and services. Influencer marketing has become a popular strategy for companies to reach a wider audience and encourage extended follower bases to buy their latest products. The influencing strategy relies on users’ trust in these aspirational individuals, often based on shared niche interests or opinions. However, there is a new trend emerging in the marketing world known as “deinfluencing”. As a response to the overconsumption propagated by influencers, deinfluencing emphasizes the growing cynicism towards sponsored content across social media. These content creators have paved the way for a new and effective marketing strategy that rebuilds trust and combats false advertising.
Deinfluencing started with content creators talking about the issues with the current influencer market promoting overconsumption. It soon evolved into other creators telling their followers what products they should and shouldn’t buy. This trend took off on TikTok, now with over 450 million views, as creators in the beauty and lifestyle niche started exposing products that are overhyped, and began providing better quality, often less expensive product options. Now, this trend has moved into more niches, anything from gaming to wedding planning, as consumers and creators start to reflect on how quick people are to purchase products based on fleeting trends.
While it may sound like deinfluencing is the rejection of influencers and the influencer market, that is not the case. Deinfluencing is about asking content creators, brands, and consumers to rethink how they utilize the power of influence. Consumers have rightfully begun to question the authenticity of some influencers and their partnerships with brands. Does this product really work? Has this trusted individual even tried the product? Or is this influencer just being paid for a positive review? By attempting to build trust with consumers, “deinfluencers” are rebranding what it means to be an influencer by offering authentic reviews on products. Their candor helps consumers realize what they actually need and aims to reduce overconsumption based on microtrends.
@impactforgood_ Declutter your home & then learn to buy less. It will change your life #deinfluence #deinfluencing #deinfluencingmakeup #deinfluencingproducts #minimalism #minimalist #sustainabilitytiktok #imperfectsustainability #sustainablelifestyle #eco #ecofriendly ♬ original sound – Jess – Sustainability
This TikTok by user @impactforgood_ explains her take on deinfluencing. She explains how thrilled she is that the collective is realizing “overconsumption is getting out of control.” She moves on to say that she uses minimal products, just what is truly needed to take care of your skin for example. She has no problem showing off products she genuinely uses and doesn’t mind if people are influenced to buy them. What she doesn’t support is people buying the latest, trendiest product before they finish the similar product they currently own. Deinfluencing not only helps slow overconsumption but also stops people from overspending their hard-earned money. “The rule that saved me money is that I cannot buy new products unless I have used up all the rest.”
Deinfluencing not only encourages other influencers to rethink the products they are promoting, but it is also encouraging brands to be more transparent in their marketing efforts. Many brands are now faced with the risk of sending a content creator their product and them giving it an unfavorable review. However, on the flip side, if a trusted influencer gives their products a raving review, their followers will be more likely to purchase that product and also leave good reviews. This also holds brands more accountable to create quality products that will last. Because at the end of the day, any content creator has the ability to post a video about any product and give their opinion. If they already have a following that trusts them, they have influenced those consumers without the brand even being involved in the creator’s using their product.
In this TikTok, user @emtapiaaa, a Sephora employee, reveals the truth about popular items at Sephora. She also agrees with someone in the comments that different products work for different people. This shows that deinfluencing isn’t meant to stop people from buying products they love, but rather from overbuying products they don’t need.
This trend of deinfluencing has the potential to affect the way the marketing world functions. Over the years it has been about the latest trends, how fast and how cheap we can get products. Now there is a desire to focus on quality over quantity, with a promising shift in consumer behavior toward more ethical and sustainable consumption. Consumers are realizing they aren’t getting the biggest bang for their buck when they are purchasing dozens of cheap products that they end up only using a few times.
The deinfluencing trend has proven that consumers are ready to see a change in how influencers and brands are marketing products. In a saturated market where products have never been more easily accessible in such vast quantities, consumers are simply looking for products that work the best in their market.
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