Many direct-to-consumer e-commerce brands are floundering on TikTok.
Accustomed to the tried-and-tested Instagram content strategy of picture-perfect posts, many brands are struggling to adapt to TikTok, which rewards authenticity and imperfection.
Pit Viper is an exception.
Founded in 2012, Pit Viper boasts 899,000 followers on Instagram and a whopping 275,000 followers on TikTok: one of their videos, posted on August 22, 2022, has racked up 16.1 million views!
We believe there are three keys to Pit Viper's success on TikTok: scroll down to learn them!
1. Irreverent humour
Unlike conventional fashion brands that celebrate sophistication and elegance, Pit Viper can make funny, outlandish videos, which resonate with viewers on TikTok.
People browse Instagram for inspiration but turn to TikTok for raw, unfiltered entertainment, at which Pit Viper excels.
Instead of having to make videos of attractive models posing with products, Pit Viper show this dirt bike rider attempting a somersault on a ramp and falling to the ground on his helmet, which clocked 16.1 million views.
2. Lo-fi (low fidelity) look and feel
Another factor lubricating (heehee) Pit Viper's success on TikTok is their intentional embrace of lo-fi content, even on their website.
Instead of showing models wearing Pit Vipers on the product page, a cow wearing Pit Vipers is the first image a visitor sees.
Pit Viper's decision to eschew a polished look and fill their website with grainy "badly" Photoshopped images and gifs permits the brand to release similar types of content on TikTok, which, as we described earlier, loves that raw look.
3 A visually distinctive product
Finally, Pit Viper benefits from having a product that is distinctive and spectacular, such that even when the sunglasses are not the focus of the video, you cannot miss them.
With their oversized frames, reflective mirrored lenses and retro 90s Bret "Hitman" Hart shape, Pit Viper are outstanding by definition — they grab your attention with zero effort.
Because of their product's distinctiveness, Pit Viper can produce endless content in a non-salesy way because they never have to refer to their sunglasses — they're just there.
Thriving where other brands are struggling, Pit Viper's brand pillars of lo-fi humour and irreverence, coupled with a bright and shiny signature product, have propelled the brand to TikTok success.
Just as Instagram spawned a generation of direct-to-consumer brands built around aspirational lifestyles, the continued growth of TikTok will see a new wave of brands designed to succeed around TikTok's algorithm.
As TikTok continues to grow, older brands must adapt or risk sinking into obsolescence as Instagram engagement continues its decline.