De-influencing: friend or foe?

De-influencing has taken social media by storm, with over 400 million views on TikTok to date! 

The trend involves influencers giving their honest and often negative critiques of products that have been featured heavily by other influencers as the must-haves. Bringing into question the honesty of some products reviews, in the hopes of curbing rising overconsumption of products driven by social media endorsements. 

Of course, many are sceptical of the trend. Refinery 29 wrote recently, “It’s not about mindful consumption. It’s not about sustainability. It’s simply influencing rebranded for the recession era.” 

Brands and products often mentioned in de-influencing videos include the £480 Dyson Airwrap and Olaplex’s £45 shampoo and conditioner – two expensive, high-end products that have saturated influencer content on TikTok. To counteract these over-priced recommendations, some influencers are now recommending similar products which they claim do the same job for a much lower price. This is essentially still influencing, but with a social conscience – helping to save their followers money. 

With the cost-of-living crisis and the ever-present quest for social media perfection and validation, de-influencing seems like the natural evolution to keep us all looking and feeling our best for less. TikTok is a platform where people feel comfortable to be authentic and honest with their audience and it’s a way that smaller, less premium brands can get a larger slice of the social media beauty space.    

Instead of staying quiet, perhaps waiting for the storm to pass, some brands have opted to acknowledge the trend through humorous content of their own. Urban Decay, for example, posted, “sooo #deinfluencing… y’all still like me tho right”, which garnered lots of admiration from their followers and is a simple but effective example that shows that de-influencing doesn’t necessarily have to be something to be feared. After all, if your products and services are up to scratch, then there’s no need to worry, right?  

De-influencing is perhaps an opportunity for influencers to apply more consideration when deciding which brands they collaborate with. They’re of course in the business of making money, but we live in a world of increasingly smart and savvy consumers who care about the planet and want authenticity above anything else. De-influencing challenges influencers to be more selective with the brands they work with, to ensure they align with their values, and only recommend products they genuinely believe in for their loyal followers. Otherwise, they risk losing their audience to those who do.  

For brands, they too should too be cautious about who they work with. Ensuring influencers align with the brand’s beliefs and product offering is key. At PHA, we work with a wide range of influencers across a number of different sectors. Using industry leading tools and data we ensure we match them with the right brands so that partnerships are as authentic and genuine as possible. Contact us today if you’d like to chat about some fresh influencer collaborations for your brand that will drive real impact. 

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