The Red Flags of UGC + Brands Doing it Right

The Red Flags of UGC + Brands Doing it Right

One of our favourite trends in marketing right now is the use of User Generated Content.

If you’re not familiar, user-generated content (UGC) is content created by real people, rather than brands, that is published to a brand’s account. 

But, why do we love it so much?

Well, we’ll start with the fact that everyday people (like you and me) can be the face of the brands that they’re obsessed with, and get paid to do it.

If you’ve ever been 15  flipping through the pages of teen vogue, admiring Taylor Swift in a mascara ad, you know how iconic this is.

We’ve also fallen completely head-over-heels for UGC because it allows brands to share customer reviews and harness the brilliance of storytelling, in a way that doesn’t feel sales-y.

But brands that are utilizing this powerful medium to engage with audiences are also learning that not all UGC is created equal. Here are the major red flags we’re seeing with UGC and brands that are doing it right.

Common Red Flags with UGC 

Poor Quality Content

Since real people are behind the camera, UGC content isn’t captured with professional equipment (in most cases). This can impact the quality of deliverables in a way that misrepresents a brand, especially for a premium or luxury one.

Overproduced Content

Alternatively, some brands are so used to professionally shot content that they have a hard time letting go of the reins. This leads to UGC content that looks too perfect and polished, missing the point entirely.  

Overlooking the Benefits

Some brands opt to hire UGC creators to keep their marketing budgets low rather than for the real potential, like connecting with audiences. The benefits of UGC are much greater than the affordable dollar value of hiring creators (trust us).

Brands Doing UGC Right 

We’ve chosen a few brands that we believe are leaning into the power of UGC and doing it the right way.


The skincare/makeup brand features an array of UGC photos and videos from devoted fans using Glossier in their daily routines. While gorgeous and very on-brand, it’s also casual and imperfect, which feels relatable.

@glossier Help our friend @kateglavan out. Is it a 🚩🚩 when he knows how to pronounce glossier? #glossier #balmdotcom #redflagorgreenflag ♬ original sound - Glossier


Adobe has long been an industry leader in marketing, so we love that the software company is featuring real user designs on their socials as well as their product suite. A balance of aspirational and achievable.  

@adobe We’ve been waiting for this moment ALL year! Everyone is #backtoschool and we’d love to have you join the A-D-O-B-E creative family! @cartervailmusic ♬ original sound - Adobe



As a mushroom-based coffee alternative that recently hit the scene, MUD/WTR has almost exclusively utilized UGC to educate audiences about their products and unsurprisingly the casual videos seem to be enticing buyers.

@mudwtr Brain fog gtfo #brainfog #tired #invisibleillness #trialanderror #learning #health #mushrooms #mushroom #healthy #morningroutine @ONLYALCHEMYHEALING ♬ GASLIGHT - INJI

Grow Your Brand With UGC

The authentic nature of UGC (when done right) helps brands build consumer loyalty and strengthen their online community

If your brand would benefit from collaborating with UGC creators, and you want to do it right, get expert help from the team at Good Commerce.

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