Backed by

3 Brands Crushing It On TikTok

Garrett Wrenn
Garrett Wrenn
Since attention & eyeballs are a form of currency when it comes to growing your brand, the more you can garner, the higher likelihood TikTok will make them buy it.

Following Black Friday & Cyber Monday, heading into Holiday season - data supports TikTok's relevance for DTC brands. Since attention & eyeballs are a form of currency when it comes to growing your brand, the more you can garner, the higher likelihood TikTok will make them buy it.

From the last post we know that:

This year, there is an expected 57% of consumers who plan to shop online this year (Statista).

37% of users discover items on TikTok and immediately go to buy it (TikTok).

People who buy something from your brand are 9x more likely to convert again & show a 25% increase in AOV around holiday season (Conversational).

Below you will read about 3 brands who leverage the short form video platform differently. They have garnered millions of views and as a result have incredible brand awareness, unique product education, and strong conversion wins from social.


Who they are

Known for their coveted hero product "TRUFF Original Hot Sauce", this decadent sauce brand has taken on a large chunk of your kitchen cabinet by offering mayo, pasta sauce, salt seasoning & of course, hot sauce. Founded in 2017, this brand can be found in Whole Foods, Wegman's, Neiman Marcus, & more while touting a $25 million market valuation.


Animated Video (New!), Practical Use, Capitalizing on Viral Videos

Not seen frequently on TikTok and incredibly eye catching, TRUFF's content creators crushed this VFX animation. While it shows practical use of the product by sprinkling their salt on Fries & Brussel Sprouts, people can also see Oprah's holiday list containing a TRUFF bundle (Hot Sauce, Oil, & Salt). With everyone looking to find that perfect item for everyone on their shopping list, this post educates people on what's in stock for people on their list that love TRUFF products. Plus, if it's good enough for Oprah, it's good enough for your shopping list.

TRUFF VFX Animation
Salt Shakin

Yummy recipe inspiration videos, Practical use

#Recipe has garnered 9.1 BILLION views on TikTok, if you're a food brand - consider this your sign to make recipe videos using your product ASAP. TRUFF having multiple products and seasonings gives them endless variations of content w/ their products. Everything from double dipping your burger in different TRUFF sauces to creating spooky ghost pizza, their content team knocks it out of the park.

Double Dipping in Two Different TRUFF Sauce's
Ghost Pizza

Viral videos w/ no rhyme or reason

A huge draw to TikTok's platform is the simplicity around what content can go viral. In TRUFF's case, they went viral by filling up a martini glass w/ their pasta sauce and then delicately layering pasta on top.

Makes no sense right?

That video got 4.2 million views and this is now a regular content segment for them, which consistently garners hundreds of thousands or millions of views.

The major takeaway is TRUFF found their niche and made it work for them!

Random Pasta Sauce Martini
Macaroni & Dino Nuggets

Death Wish Coffee

Who They Are

Why do the best companies always start in someone's basement? From being featured on Good Morning America to competing for a Super Bowl Commercial, this coffee brand touts the strongest cup of coffee with an even stronger brand identity. Since launching a decade ago, they've grown to an 8 figure Omni Channel Brand w/ a broad variety in product offerings centered around people who love to drink coffee.


Recipes, Community Humor, Life Hacks

You'll notice a theme amongst successful DTC food & beverage brands on TikTok, they are engage #recipe community to tap into the billions of views available through that hashtag. We've all heard of an Espresso Martini - they've taken the social drinking community by storm, it cracked the top 10 most ordered drinks in the US (CNN), this presented a unique opportunity for Death Wish.

Rising demand for the delightful beverage allowed Death Wish's content team to create variation in demand for the same product. If you're a DTC brand struggling to generate sales, ask the question - how else can people use our products? & develop content around that.

Too often brand's will invest tremendous amounts of money into product R&D to expand product offerings. With a recession looming, CFO's & Investors will want to keep costs down, the above is a great exercise to generate more excitement around products customers already purchase while saving money on new product development.

Espresso Martini
Ice Coffee, Cold Foam

Coffee Humor, Strange Brew

Community building is critical when it comes to customer retention, AOV's, and better understanding your ICP & PMF. (Ideal Customer Profile & Product Market Fit). Drinking coffee is a lifestyle and like any other life choices, it comes with associated humor.

Death Wish's content team covers this in two ways, the first is doing "duets" with content creators featuring their company mascot, death. In this case, they touch on the "don't feed the gremlin after midnight" with coffee being the centerpiece.

The second is combining an unlikely drink with their coffee like spicy Mountain Dew, Gatorade, or sparkling water and then doing a reaction taste test afterwards. Most of their TikTok content gets 1k-6k views, these gross out segments tend to land in the 10k-100k range.

Just like TRUFF, it's all about finding your trend or niche that fits your brand & taking advantage of those views.

Gremlin Death Wish
Fireball x Death Wish

Coffee (mug) Hacks! #tiptok

Remember that thing I mentioned about taking advantage of communities?

#Tiptok has garnered 1.8 billion views while #Coffeetok has gotten 2.5 billion views! Understanding these data points allows content creators to iterate, when certain hashtags see fast growth, you just need to participate & provide content aligned with these trends or hashtags to draw easy views to your page.

Death Wish did a run through on the best way to use a French press to perfectly brew Death Wish coffee. Since video lifts brand recognition by 54% on average (Oberlo), creating simple content (best ways to use a French Press) that spreads through these communities is an easy way to help people identify your brand and grow your top of funnel.

French Press Coffee Hack
Breakfast Hack

Mid-Day Squares

Who they are

Founded in 2018, Mid-Day Squares is a vegan chocolate bar meant to deliver all the right ingredients to hold you over between lunch and the end of your work day. Over the last year, they doubled their revenue to $17 million and continue to disrupt the chocolate industry by crushing it on social & landing in stores like Sprouts, Whole Foods, and Target!


Behind the scenes, Drama, Founder Forward

Authenticity wins, Community Scales, Drama

Totally different from any content I've seen in the DTC / omni-channel TikTok world, Mid-Day Squares' authentic and behind the scenes approach helped them grow to a 160k+ following w/ over 3 million likes. Scaling on TikTok is easier when you find your niche (as seen above w/ TRUFF), & in Mid-Day Squares' case, they have a founder forward, "love island" drama feel to show the daily struggles of a growing dessert brand. You see everything from production woes to the cookie monster stealing their new flavor shipping to target.

The behind the scenes struggles content performs the best, an example of this is after a tough product R&D outcome for a coconut bar test - they made a post to document how & why it failed while engaging their audience about new flavor ideas. This is a great move because 61% of consumers would be more loyal and likely to buy from a brand if they were invited to be part of a customer advocate community (HubSpot).

Cookie Monster On the Loose
Business Struggle, Community Engagement

Hype Announcements, Growing Pains

The shift to physical brick & mortar stores is a great sign of strong PMF. It's critical to sell out once products hit the shelf - they created a post to educate their customer base on where they could be found.


Digital Assets ➝ In-Person Foot Traffic

Growing into any industry causes disruption, for the chocolate industry in particular - 5 brands have dominated for the last century. With disruption came ruffled feathers from Hershey - after attempting to acquire them, they tried to sue Mid-Day Squares over product package color when they didn't take the offer. This is a great David v. Goliath PR story that was not only told during a Forbes 30 Under 30 appearance, but documented & put on TikTok which garnered millions of views.

Getting into Target!
Hershey Beef

Founder Forward Humor, Community Buy-In

There's been a multitude of brand founders who have found success on brands (7 Successful Founders on tiktok) and reaped the benefits when it comes to growing their brand in terms of revenue and digital footprint. While it's hard to directly attribute, founders who get millions of views consistently have strong sales and brand awareness.

In Mid-Day Squares case, they use it to engage the community and build empathy towards the brand. People want to feel like they are apart of something and helping, their captions ask for follower's opinion on how to handle situations or new product feedback. This is an easy way to keep people engaged, on their toes for the next update, or even more exciting - hearing that their suggestion for a flavor is moving into the production stage.

People love the underdog storyline, as they grow and go up against the chocolate giants, having the social support of 160k people gives them a mini army to help them fight it. By sharing the dark hollows of how companies monopolize industries, it empowers people to feel like they are making a difference and "helping the little guy".  

The come up

Company Mission