As the internet becomes a dominant sales channel in China, virtual key opinion leaders (KOLs) are becoming key for brands, says marketing expert Arnold Ma to the Jing Daily. As patriotism becomes an issue for global brands in China, they have to be careful in picking those virtual KOLs, adds Ma.
Using virtual KOLs has been an emerging marketing experiment for brands in China, said Arnold Ma, founder & CEO of the Chinese digital agency Qumin. “Ling, Luo Tianyi, KFC’s Colonel Sanders, Tmall’s Aimee, PokaPoka, and L’Oréal’s Mr. Ou are all famous to Chinese Gen Zers,” he explained. “And although virtual Chinese KOLs have yet to reach their peak, brands could get on board because this industry has huge potential.”…
Young Chinese consumer trust exists when the appetite for fashion and beauty meets fervent patriotism. To earn that, brands must have the conscience to cultivate practical political wisdom to avoid controversy. “Brands can either have a clear standpoint that supports China or avoid talking about politics on social media,” warned Qumin’s founder Arnold Ma. “Once Western brands get involved in political controversy, KOLs and celebrities will 100-percent stop work with the brands because they need to save their reputation in the Chinese market, and they are patriotic and socially progressive.”
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