De-influencing: authentic or just another shopping trend?

27 March 2023

We’re all familiar with the concept of influencing, influencers, and influencer marketing by now, but de-influencing is the newest Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube trend that you need to know about.

The growing #de-influencing movement aims to tackle overconsumption and educate social media users about its devastating impact on the environment. As a result, consumers have begun to question the product reviews that flood their feeds and are beginning to appreciate the value of ‘real’ opinions.

Many people are also buying into the new trend due to the current cost-of-living crisis. As consumers become spend-aware, a growing number of people have raised concerns over influencers who recommend products to their audience that they have been gifted or paid to promote when most people are actively looking for ways to cut back and save money.

But what actually is de-influencing, how does it work, and how can we be sure it’s not just another shopping trend?

What is de-influencing?

De-influencing is a fun social media trend where influencers tell their online following which pricey products not to buy and recommend cheaper alternatives.

For years, influencers have been telling people what products they should buy and the products they couldn’t live without. In a dramatic turn of events, the de-influencing trend sees online creators urge their followers to think twice before buying into consumer culture and provide listeners with advice on how to make mindful purchasing decisions.

As we know, the success of influencing and influencer marketing relies on an online influencer to market a brand’s products or services to an audience. In a world where consumers begin to doubt influence authenticity, could de-influencing be the beginning of the end for traditional influencing and influencers?

How does it work?

Whereas influencers encourage consumers to purchase a product from their recommendation, de-influencers share with their audience the products they do not recommend buying based on their own genuine experiences.

The power of influencing lies in how much an audience trusts the creators they follow and the brands and products they promote while the act of de-influencing flips the script and promotes honest reviews, real opinions, and personal experiences to grow trust in their following.

As consumers take a more mindful approach to consumerism, they look for promoters they can relate to and trust. De-influencers are gaining consumer trust by highlighting that not every product suits every consumer and proving that trending products do not always live up to the hype.

Just another shopping trend?

While de-influencing isn’t necessarily a new phenomenon (does anyone else remember anti-hauls on YouTube from 2016?), it is taking a new form and validating the feelings of consumers who feel they must by-products on influencer recommendations for a ‘quick boost’ and ‘fit in’.

To be clear, the art of influencing is not dead and fast fashion, overconsumption, and shopping hauls are not going expected to go anywhere for now.

However, with de-influencing impacting consumer shopping habits, it is thought social media users will make more informed and meaningful purchases, consider their financial situation first, and grow sceptical of pushy or unauthentic influencers.

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