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  • Writer's pictureShanna Lutgert

TikTok Temptations: How Viral Videos Affect Businesses

The TikTok app has emerged as a cultural juggernaut, captivating millions with its bite-sized videos and viral trends. From fashion to food, beauty to technology, TikTok has become a powerful platform shaping what people buy.

An influencer promoting make-up brands on TikTok © Shanna Lutgert

When you open the TikTok app, your feed is most likely filled with videos from influencers promoting products from popular brands. In the trending ‘get ready with me’ videos, influencers show how they doll up for the day with their skincare, haircare, or makeup routine.

It seems like young girls especially are easily influenced by this trend and want to have the same products from the same brands as their favorite influencers. “Those girls see certain brands and they want to buy it at Douglas, for example,” says Tjitske van Dijken (46), who works at the MAC Cosmetics department of Douglas, a popular store for make-up, skincare and perfume, in Groningen.

The ‘TikTok viral’ table of make-up brand MAC, shows what products are currently trending © Shanna Lutgert

Douglas sells a lot of popular brands that get promoted on the platform. Tjitske explains that Douglas can’t offer skincare testers anymore, because they get stolen by young girls who can’t afford to buy the full-size products. “It’s abnormal. I've worked in cosmetics for over 28 years, and I have never seen this before.”


Experts are concerned that those products can be harmful to young skin, and Tjitske can understand why. “It’s bizarre, young girls want to use the same products as the influencers, but they are way too intense for them.”

Other Businesses Benefit From TikTok Marketing

Still, it can be a great marketing platform for local businesses. Viral videos and trends allow pages with a small following base to grow to platforms with millions of followers. “We have 34.000 TikTok followers now,” says Erik Sijpkes (60), the owner of StropieWafel. The stroopwafel baker went viral on TikTok after his first video, and now he uses the app for his marketing strategy.

Mr. StropieWafel and his tower of ‘TikTok crumbles’ © Shanna Lutgert

The videos even helped to sell previously unpopular products. “These stroopwafel crumbles are now special TikTok crumbles,” he says, showing the small bucket with crumbled stroopwafel bits and caramel on top of it. “People come from everywhere to buy these.”

The music industry prefers YouTube over TikTok

One of the last industries unaffected by TikTok seems to be the music industry. “We often see that people ask for things that are trending on YouTube,” says Sander Koning (28), a musician who works at music store Westerhaven Muziek. YouTube appears to be more popular among musicians as it functions as a platform where people can learn how to play an instrument and what products are needed to get started.

Sander in music store Westerhaven © Shanna Lutgert

He explains that pedal boards, used to modify the guitar sound, are popular products on YouTube. Sander likes those kinds of viral videos because they can inspire people. “I’m easily influenced by those as well,” he admits. “But I think it’s good that trends and hypes are there in the music scene.”

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