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  • Hannah Houston

Hacking brand success on TikTok

It’s no secret that your brand should be on TikTok – and we believe the way to do it successfully shouldn’t be a secret either! Let’s explore three brands who are finding success on the platform, with very different approaches that could spark inspiration for your brand.


Fashion and beauty brand - “Pleasing” - may have been created by none other than Hydrogen’s boyfriend, Harry Styles himself, but he has placed the care of the pretty perfect social media output to a team who really understands their audience.

On TikTok, the brand heavily leans into Gen-Z culture and trends, and is frequently referred to as ‘unhinged’ in the comments section, which believe it or not is not a bad thing! Taking inspiration from TikTok giants DuoLingo and RyanAir, their content breaks almost every traditional marketing rule. When you’re used to a high-end Instagram feed, you could be forgiven for thinking this isn’t their official brand account, however, the lack of consistent aesthetic, low-fi videos, self-deprecating humour, and seemingly random videos have been the key to their success.

The team behind Pleasing are clearly immersed in TikTok culture, they understand the humour, trends and language of their Gen-Z customers. They use this to create content which fits seamlessly alongside other content on the platform and avoid the dreaded millisecond scroll-by of a clearly brand led TikTok.

While their TikTok makes us ask the question ‘who let the intern loose?’, their Instagram is a completely different story. The perfectly curated, aesthetically pleasing, influencer led content is like a siren call to their millennial audience.

Pictures of the Pleasing TikTok and Instagram feeds side by side

What can we learn from the Pleasing team?

  • Every social platform is different and should have an individual channel strategy to reflect this, especially when it comes to the rebellious marketing attitude of TikTok.

  • To be truly successful on TikTok, social marketers need to be fully immersed in the platform, understand the trends and the language used here.

  • Leave your brand guidelines at the door, TikTok is the place to break rules and really lean into what your audience wants to see!

Rons Quality Snax

Moving from the global to the hyper-local, Ron’s Quality Snax is proof that you don’t need an international superstar behind your brand to find success on social!

Not sure TikTok is right for your small local business? Ron’s food van is located in an East Kilbride industrial estate, and has garnered almost 40k fans on TikTok. This Scottish town’s big claim to fame is that it has a lot of roundabouts, if you’re wondering whether there is some international draw to this place we’ve not told you about - it doesn’t get more local than that!

The key to Ron’s success? Personality and authenticity.

Ron has built a community online through his likeability, and is proof of the growth of the ‘anti-influencer’; real people with unedited authenticity. Ron’s content is low budget, filmed in his tiny food van by another member of his team and shared to TikTok without use of any trending sounds, effects or text. Rons approach to his content is reminiscent of his approach to his business – simple, fuss-free food.

What can we learn from Ron?

  • Personality is key! To find success on TikTok, getting your people in front of camera can be a gamechanger.

  • You don’t need a big budget to make TikTok work for you, focus instead on putting the time into creating authentic content.

  • TikTok isn’t just for big brands – small, local businesses have a place here and can build loyal online communities.

Selling a service or B2B product? Later do a brilliant job of subtly selling their platform while providing relatable, useful, educational content that feels very audience focused. They understand their audience and use this knowledge to create sharable, saveable, snackable videos. Utilising TikTok’s catalogue of effects, sounds, trends, text and filters, their content feels native to the app in a way that is comfortable for their primary audience of millennial marketers.

Later have understood that the primary reason people come to TikTok is to be entertained, but that their occupation is still an important part of their real lives. Their light-hearted approach to a potential source of stress to marketers means they are already helping ease our worries. So by way of the halo-effect when we come to look at helpful scheduling tool - who are we going to feel good about and bring to the table for consideration first?

Services can neglect the indirect route to lead generation and sales, but brands like Later have shown us that TikTok is taking it back to the days of TV and billboard advertising before attribution models steered us off the path of good old positive brand awareness.

What can we learn from Later?

  • Relatability is a great way to make your audience feel seen and build a community.

  • Educational content showcases your expertise and helps subtly sell your brand and services.

  • Utilising TikTok’s in-app features will help you create content that feels native to the TikTok app – and that the algorithm is likely to push.

Let’s put the learnings into practice!

Tiktok is the fastest growing social media app on the planet, with over a billion users and changing the face of pop culture as we know it. The teams managing these brands have been committed to harnessing this power, so we hope these examples help you if you’re ready to take the leap.

Do you want your brand to be successful on TikTok but don’t have the time? Hydrogen are here to help.

From training to strategy, creation and advertising, our team of experts are on hand to help you create viral-worthy content for your brand! Get in touch.


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To find success on TikTok, getting your people in front of camera can be a gamechanger.

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