10 Brands That Kicked Off on TikTok and How They Did It #BrandMonth

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Whether you like it or not (and that will probably depend very much on which side of 30 you find yourself) TikTok has been moulding consumer behaviour in its own impatient image for years now but for a lot of brands who saw the way the tide was turning, they’ve managed to ride it all the way to the bank.

For many small businesses, the short-form video platform became a veritable playground to help them showcase their creativity and engage audiences while riding the endless waves of viral trends.

With a potential TikTok ban on the horizon, I thought I'd take some time to underline exactly why the platform, for all its faults, deserves to be saved.

To reinforce the power of TikTok I’ve decided to put a spotlight on 10 brands that not only dipped their toes but dove headfirst into its potential and reaped the bountiful rewards.

1. XXL Scrunchie & Co

Nguyen, the creator of XXL Scrunchie & Co, spent a modest $1,000 on social media ads when she started her modest hair scrunchie business. But it was TikTok that catapulted her oversized hair accessories brand.

A single viral video led to 50,000 website visitors and sold-out scrunchies and it all spiralled from there, with one video featuring Nguyen and her mum racking up literal millions of views. Nguyen shares her journey—from sewing to shipping—on TikTok and her bare bones approach to marketing revealed that, on TikTok, authenticity is what wins hearts and sales.

2. Lala Hijabs

The Launch: Sana Saleh and Muhammad William Saleh introduced their Lala Hijabs brand on TikTok and their handmade tie-dye hijabs garnered millions of views within months.


Their hijab-friendly silk mask video hit 1.4 million views during the pandemic, when it seemed like the whole world discovered the platform. Lala Hijabs became synonymous with style and safety and managed to subvert the perception of the hijab as an icon of religious misogyny.

3. Chipotle

Chipotle is a US-based Mexican fast food brand that’s been around for decades but has yet to achieve the same global recognition as Taco Bell.

It managed to find itself a whole new Gen Z audience with TikTok, however, by adding a dash of subtle humour and a sprinkle of creativity to their social media posts and really doubling down on hashtags. Their #GuacDance challenge went viral on National Avocado Day and revealed how a timely post can really make all the difference.

4. Gymshark

Sweat and Style: Gymshark, the fitness apparel brand, has flexed its marketing muscles on TikTok with various workout challenges and athlete spotlights. This is content that really resonated with fitness enthusiasts and given the admittedly image-focused nature of TikTok as a platform it’s no small wonder it’s a strategy that paid off.


Fitness content has always done well on social media and Gymshark undoubtedly saw the potential of short-form video content early on.

5. Elf Cosmetics

Elf Cosmetics ditched filters and embraced realness, which is a concept that really resonated with young TikTok users.

Their #EyesLipsFace challenge encouraged users to showcase their makeup skills. The result? Over 4 billion views and counting and an enviable status as a rare beauty product specialist actually representing a positive influence.

6. Fenty Beauty

Fenty Beauty is the brainchild of Barbadian R&B superstar Rihanna, officially the first pop star to become a billionaire. She used TikTok to celebrate the diversity and body positivity at the heart of her brand with makeup tutorials, product showcases, and user-generated content that built a solid fanbase on the platform.


Rihanna’s personal involvement also, of course, added a certain degree of star power that certainly didn’t hurt.

7. Crocs: Comfort Meets Cool

While Crocs were once deemed outrageously uncool, it’s a brand that arguably found pop culture redemption on TikTok.

Their quirky videos, celebrity endorsements, and DIY Crocs transformations sparked a major resurgence throughout the pandemic and beyond. Who knew rubber clogs could be so trendy? Are they comfortable though?

8. Ocean Spray

Ocean Spray’s cranberry juice video of a previously unknown skateboarder chilling out to Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams,” became a genuine cultural moment as TikTok turned a simple product into a sensation using the power of nostalgia and good vibes.


It’s a social media promotion that proved timeless pop culture is timeless for a reason and is proof of the incredible power of authentic user generated content.

The final two examples come courtesy of Isabella Fernandes, Account Manage @ Seed, the “Gen Z” agency within Amplify.

9. Peachy Bbies Slime

A confessed influencer wannabe who “always wanted to be a full-time content creator” noticed an uptick of slime videos gaining traction on the platform so tried out some “test-and-learn videos” on YouTube and kicked off a slime business from the back of it.

Once this slowed, they refocused with the ability to make shorter videos native to TikTok, minimising their creator time investment and tapping into a new breed of audiences eager to buy into slime with sell-out product drops.

10. P. Louise Cosmetics

The makeup and beauty brand went all-in TikTok Shop and Ads, strategically focusing on scaling orders and boosting ROI with 126K orders and 110M product views in just 3 months. They’re ramping up traffic to generate conversions with clear sales goals through the TikTok Shop.


Unusually their flipping the narrative of “Make TikTok’s not Ads”, and their content is inherently sales driven. They’re donning wigs, set against pink backdrops and shilling products in a 2024 version of the shopping channel.

The TikTok Frontier

These brands didn’t just kick off; they danced, duetted, and trended their way into the hearts of millions and underlines TikTok as a canvas for creativity and innovation if brands are willing to lean into the corners and see the true potential of the platform.

From scrunchies to silk masks, TikTok has become the stage for brand stories and these pioneers prove that authenticity, creativity, and a sprinkle of humour can turn a brand into a sensation. So, whether you’re a scrunchie maker or a burrito slinger, don’t ignore TikTok; it might just be your secret ingredient.

Another Creative Opinion

Ed East, Global CEO and co-founder of leading global influencer agency, Billion Dollar Boy, on why a TikTok ban would a profound loss for brands and creators alike. 

A TikTok ban would of course be a huge loss for brands and creators who operate predominantly on the platform. TikTok is such a strong discovery tool - thanks to its potent algorithm - allowing them to reach large audiences and grow their following fast.

However, UK brands shouldn’t panic yet. The threat of a ban has hung over the platform for a while and yet the number of users is actually increasing year-on-year and performance remains strong.

Advertisers are encouraged though, to consider re-allocating budgets to prepare for a potential ban. Instagram Reels and YouTube Shorts provide similar short-form content options that replicate TikTok’s iconic format, and brands would gain valuable learnings by testing on other platforms. We saw this in practice in India when TikTok was banned in 2020. Creators and brands simply moved their resources to YouTube Shorts, demonstrating the resilience of the creator economy.

A lot of content creators also rely on the platform for their livelihoods though, so a TikTok ban could have a serious impact on creators whose primary audience is on the platform.