Why High-End Brands Should Embrace the #Dupe Culture

Last Updated: June 9, 2024By

Why High-End Brands Should Embrace the #Dupe Culture

Have you ever bought a cheaper version of something fancy? Well, social media experts think high-end brands should start loving this trend! It’s all about #dupes—those budget-friendly copies of luxury items.

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The Rise of Dupes

Dupes, or look-alikes, aren’t exactly new. Back in 2010, beauty YouTubers were already raving about cheaper products. But people used to buy them secretly, hoping no one would notice they weren’t the real deal.

Now, though, it’s a whole different story. Buying #dupes isn’t about fooling anyone anymore. Thanks to TikTok and other video platforms, showing off your dupes is super cool. Generation Z loves flaunting their finds.

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A Generational Shift

Jennifer Baker from Grin, a creator management platform, says this change shows how younger generations shop and use media differently. While older generations might have been sneaky about buying knockoffs, Gen Z has made it a big deal on social media. They even made #dupe one of the most popular search terms!

Why People Love Dupes

Even when young people can afford real designer stuff, many still go for dupes. Research shows nearly one-third of US adults buy dupes on purpose. In the UK, at least 11% buy them every few months. Half of these shoppers do it to save money, and 17% say they’d buy dupes even if they could afford the originals because they’re great alternatives.

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The Dupe Trend on Social Media

Dupe culture isn’t going away anytime soon. It’s everywhere online—YouTube, Instagram, blogs, you name it. Items like Lululemon leggings, Skims shapewear, and Dyson products are hot favorites for dupes. TikTok videos with #dupe have nearly 6 billion views! Type “I found the perfect dupe” on TikTok and you’ll find tons of videos.

What Makes a Dupe?

Dupes range from actual counterfeits to tips on finding cheaper versions of high-end items. Some retailers even create dupes to compete with bigger brands. For example, Aldi and Lidl are known for their knockoffs of popular products.

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The Role of Influencers

Influencers play a big part in the dupe culture. Some get paid to promote products and must use the #ad hashtag. Others recommend dupes just because they love them. These creators help people tell the difference between a good deal and a bad knockoff. A great dupe recommendation can make an influencer super famous overnight.

A Smart Move for Brands

Instead of fighting against dupes, brands should see them as a way to stay relevant. Sophie Hardie from the Goat Agency says brands should engage with dupe culture in a fun and authentic way. This approach can attract new customers who might not have noticed the brand otherwise.

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Real-Life Success Stories

Take Lululemon, for example. They offered a “dupe swap” where people in Los Angeles could trade their Lululemon dupes for the real thing. This fun event was a huge hit and brought in a lot of new, young customers.

Another great example is Olaplex. They cleverly played into dupe culture by sponsoring influencers to promote a fake dupe called Oladupé. When people clicked the link, they were directed to Olaplex’s official page, showing that nothing beats the real thing.

Final Thoughts

Brands should lean into the dupe culture rather than fight it. Engaging with this trend can strengthen their brand and keep them culturally relevant. After all, a dupe can be seen as a stamp of approval, showing that people love the brand enough to seek out more affordable versions.

So, next time you see a #dupe, remember that it’s not just about saving money—it’s part of a fun and evolving shopping culture.

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