Everything You Need to Know About Gen-Z’s Sustainable Response to Overconsumption and What it Means for Your Brand
#Deinfluencing is the newest Tiktok trend, amassing 206.8 million views and counting. It’s exactly what it sounds like: content creators challenging consumers NOT to buy or use something that was recommended by an influencer. If you’re following the latest influencer trends, you might have already purchased a Stanley Cup drink tumbler, an ice roller for your face, and shapewear from Kim Kardahian’s SKIMS line. Now #deinfluencing encourages users to think twice before buying the newest celebrity or influencer-recommended product, in a movement to be ultimately to be more sustainable. But is it?
Influencers rose in popularity because consumers felt that they could trust a “real” person over brand ads or celebrity-recommended products. That trust has fallen apart over the years as pay-for-play recommendations became more consistent in influencer marketing. Now #deinfluencing has emerged in response to that but it’s already being used to promote other products. “Much of the “de-influencing” tag consists of people trying to convince viewers to buy an alternative to a popular item, which is still influencing,” says Natasha Lopez from Sustainable Baddie.
If consumers want to shop sustainably, all they really need is the knowledge to make the right purchase decision the first time. 51% of consumers say all they need is an expert demonstrating how to use a product to be confident in their purchase. Telling consumers what not to buy doesn’t actually solve the problem. Instead, experts can give shoppers honest recommendations based on their years of experience and knowledge in their industry, to help them get what they need.
However, as Gen-Z continues to be one of the most influential generations for sustainability and environmentalism, it is important to understand the impact that influencers have on their consumption habits. We’ll take a look at how experts can easily give consumers what they want out of #deinfluencing and how you can utilize their knowledge to create a deeper connection between your brand and your shoppers.
The Impact Of Sponsored Content On Gen Z Consumption Habits
People are consuming greater amounts of sponsored content due to the large volume of content we take in daily through platforms like Tiktok, Instagram, and Youtube. Sponsored content has become an important part of social media, as it allows companies to reach a large audience quickly and affordably.
In 2022, influencer marketing went from a $1.7 billion industry in 2016 to a $14.6 billion industry and with 95% of brands turning to social media influencers to promote their products, it has become a huge opportunity for brands. 44% of Gen Z makes purchases due to recommendations from influencers, but the current trend of de-influencing shows that the tides are turning:
“Our research shows that the majority of shoppers don’t believe that influencers use the products they promote. This lack of authenticity has massively impacted the credibility of influencers, leading Gen Z to fight back with the de-influencing movement, shining a light on the shortcomings and pitfalls of influencer marketing.”– Judith Levey, Co-Founder of The Desire Company.
As much as Gen-Z loves TikTok (with the average user spending over an hour and a half on the app daily) many members of the generation are becoming more likely to prefer sustainable brands and focus on personal, social, and environmental principles when making purchases. By promoting sustainable practices in the form of honest recommendations and easy access to product information, businesses help their customers make better decisions about how they spend their money. Now more than ever, consumers are looking for genuine recommendations for products they can trust.
Online creator Elle Grey, a 25-year-old content creator who is participating in the “de-influencing” trend on her ‘Basic Of Course’ TikTok page with 10,000 followers says she’s gotten responses from viewers asking whether her “de-influencing” posts will impact her opportunities as an influencer in the future. “I would say quite the opposite,” she says. “I think it makes the value of a true recommendation that comes from the heart so much more powerful, rather than me just pedaling out a salad spinner or the latest lipstick.”
Gen Z is starting to conclude that over-consumption is out, and making educated, well-informed purchases are in. “It’s no longer enough to be beautiful and give product recommendations. Consumers, viewers, and folks behind the screen value authenticity,” says fashion analyst, writer, and TikToker Mandy Lee (@OldLoserInBrooklyn) in Sustainable Baddie. “The new wave of fashion influencing is through thoughtful critique, education, styling, and genuine creativity.” This is true for every influencer space whether it’s fashion, wellness, beauty, etc. Younger consumers are looking for genuine recommendations from people who they perceive as being truly informed and who can provide authentic recommendations of their favorite tried and true products.
So brands, listen up! It’s easier than you think to give consumers what they want by providing expert-driven product recommendations to give their shoppers the confidence to make informed purchase decisions. The Desire Company product education platform bridges that gap and makes authentic product testimonials from experts accessible to all brands and retailers and available to all shoppers. In a world of fake influencers, anonymous reviews, and misleading information, honest advice matters more than ever before. #tapintoanexpert