DTC brands on TikTok are preparing for the app’s possible ban

Dowling isn’t alone—many other DTC marketers don’t plan on changing their approach to the platform until there’s more news on the matter.

“My initial reaction is to sit back and watch it play out—we can’t change what the outcome will be, we can only be in charge of how we react to it and adapt to the news as a small business,” said Caitlin Cash, founder of Kinship Milk Tea, adding that the brand is “fairly new” to TikTok. 

Cash added that it does seem like the government is “getting more serious” about the ban. Even so, she doesn’t think there’s much for her to do until she has more news. “We are not going to spend any less time and energy on TikTok than we currently do with the recent news,” she said. 

DTC plant care brand Flourish has been on TikTok since the brand rolled out about a year ago, and caters to the #PlantTok corner of the app. Lila Sullivan, its president and co-founder, said she also plans to stay the course on TikTok until further notice. “We don’t want to make any dramatic changes before we see what’s really about to happen,” she explained.

Other brand leaders have similar strategies.

“We’re paying attention to how the story unfolds, but we’re currently staying the course of investing time/human resources into building our TikTok presence,” said Becca Millstein, co-founder and CEO of tinned fish brand Fishwife. “We believe that TikTok can be a powerful source of organic discovery and hope that we have the opportunity to utilize it as such.”