Ah, the good ol’ days when business was a formal affair. The TikTok tornado is now an integral part of running a business, ready to disrupt your conventional marketing tactics, product research, and development cycles faster than you can say “billion-person focus group”. Indeed, TikTok has become less of an app and more of an unavoidable, potent dose of reality for businesses everywhere.

Remember when billboards and TV commercials reigned supreme? Those days are long gone. Like a zesty salsa number, TikTok has shimmied its way into the heart of business operations, shaking up all that’s familiar and comfortable. Its impact? Inconceivably huge. And what’s the culprit? A little thing called “user base”, which, by the way, is no ‘little thing’ at all.

But, here’s the kicker: TikTok isn’t just a colossal audience pool where companies can tout their goods. Nay, it’s become a seismic force in business, setting trends and getting real-time user feedback faster than you can make a Dalgona coffee. Javy Lieber, our favorite WSJ reporter turned TikTok enthusiast, hit the nail on the head when they said, “TikTok is a force in business, upending research and development cycles.” There you have it, folks, TikTok has become the ‘tail wagging the dog’, forcing businesses to adjust at breakneck speed.

Case Study: Tarte Cosmetics and the Power of Trend

Buckle up, folks, because we’re about to dive headfirst into the transformative world of TikTok trends. If there’s a poster child for capitalizing on these trends, it would be Tarte Cosmetics. “Going with the flow” has never seemed so appealing.

It all started when Tarte Cosmetics spotted a color-changing trend waltzing across TikTok, stealing the show like the belle of the ball. The company thought, “Well, why shouldn’t we whip up our own version?” And just like that, a decision was made—a decision that would put the company on an exciting yet challenging rollercoaster ride.


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A post shared by Tarte Cosmetics (@tartecosmetics)

In a world where slow and steady usually wins the race, Tarte Cosmetics decided to throw that old adage out the window. They expedited their development process from the typical tortoise-paced 12-18 months down to a hare-like three. “When life gives you a trend, you turn that trend into a product, and fast,” joked a representative from Tarte.

Of course, the breakneck speed didn’t come without its fair share of challenges. There were late-night calls that could make even the night owls yawn, and vacations that ended up being shorter than a fleeting TikTok video. But, as they say, no pain, no gain.

And oh, the gain was sweet. The gamble paid off, and how! The product sold out faster than hotcakes at a breakfast buffet—in just four weeks. “Our product was the fastest-selling item that the brand had made,” declared the Tarte representative, their tone carrying a hint of pride you could almost hear echoing through their words.

The takeaway from this tale? If you want to keep up in the fast-paced, ever-changing world of business today, sometimes you’ve got to be willing to change up your rhythm, step out of your comfort zone, and dance to the tune of the trend. After all, if Tarte Cosmetics can take the TikTok plunge and come out on top, maybe it’s high time your company started rehearsing its moves too.

Challenges for Companies with TikTok Trends

You’ve put all that effort into nurturing your brand—your reputation, your image, the trust of your clientele—and suddenly you’re smacked in the face with an off-menu viral trend? That’s the digital age equivalent of a cocktail party faux pas. Virality on TikTok is as unpredictable as a game of Russian roulette, only with your company’s brand image in the line of fire.

Take Chipotle for instance, the land of delightful burritos and guac. One fine day, a bunch of TikTok trendsetters decided to get creative and spun an off-menu hack into virality. Sounds cool, right? Wrong. This stirred up a serving of operational woes for the restaurant, hotter than their spiciest salsa.

In the blink of an eye, the brand’s peaceful in-store environment morphed into something akin to the “Battle of the Alamo,” with signs reading, “No TikTok trends allowed.” Talk about a brand’s worst nightmare. Having to enforce rules against your own customers? It’s like throwing a party and telling your guests they can’t dance.

Chipotle, however, didn’t take it lying down. Instead, they chose to ride the TikTok wave and transformed the renegade off-menu item into a permanent offering. This decision though, came with its own set of challenges, like training their staff to accommodate the new dish. Think of it as trying to change the tires on a moving car – sounds crazy, but that’s what adapting in the TikTok era feels like.

“Dealing with a viral item that might take off tomorrow is a big headache,” a representative from Chipotle confessed. That’s probably the understatement of the year. The TikTok trend highway is fast and relentless, turning brands into reluctant adrenaline junkies, forever ready for the next surprise jump. So strap in and hold tight, because there’s no exit ramp in sight.

TikTok’s Stand and Algorithm Influence

TikTok has become the billion-person focus group, but it seems the platform itself can’t herd this massive and unruly digital cattle. They’re not the ones calling the shots on what’s hot or not—it’s the trigger-happy creators who are in the driver’s seat. So, forget trying to control what trends or predict what’s next on the viral menu. Even TikTok can’t rein in the rampant virality. What did you expect? It’s like trying to predict the weather in four seasons in a day kind of place. Not even your best psychic could nail that.

Sure, TikTok isn’t shy about dropping the ban hammer on content featuring criminal activity. Remember those Kia carjacking videos? Quicker than a hiccup, TikTok had those babies pulled down. But when it comes to trendsetting, TikTok can’t just flip a switch and make your new product the next #BottleCapChallenge.

Javy Lieber from WSJ reported, “As much as TikTok is in charge of the algorithm, it’s the users and creators driving the trends.” So, in the land of TikTok, it’s the creators who wear the crowns and dictate the trends, not the platform itself. Like a modern digital monarchy, if you will, but with less pomp and more viral dance challenges.

Companies’ Proactive Response to TikTok Trends

Some companies have gotten savvy and have begun to suss out the TikTok trend game. What’s their secret? Well, they’ve thrown together dedicated teams to keep an eye on TikTok trends, turning rapid response into an art form. Talk about being on the ball!

And then we’ve got the bold ones, the thrill-seekers of the business world. These daring companies are diving headfirst into the choppy waters of trend prediction and influence, capitalizing on the TikTok phenomenon. It’s a wild ride, and not for the faint-hearted, but hey, fortune favors the brave, right?

Enter the mad science part of the story: ‘hacking’ the TikTok algorithm. This move is particularly favored by our friends in the beauty industry. Because, why wait for the next big beauty trend when you can try and manufacture it?

Let’s take a moment to give a shout-out to one fashion brand doing it right: Addicted. They’re not just riding the TikTok wave, they’re surfing it like pros. They’ve got an algorithm that monitors TikTok trends and helps them whip up clothing items faster than you can say “viral.” It’s all about the speed, baby.

But let’s hear it from the horse’s mouth. A representative from Addicted shared their philosophy, “For every seven styles that are total duds, the one winner that goes viral on TikTok will sort of carry us through.” Ah, the sweet taste of success.

The Conclusion

In summary, the world of TikTok trend chasing is like a high-stakes poker game, where the winners win big and the losers… well, let’s just say they learn some hard lessons. But hey, that’s the thrill of the chase, right? And when it comes to TikTok, the name of the game is stay ahead, or get left behind. And these businesses? They’re sprinting.