Perception of KOL for Chinese consumers.

Before coming to China the first time, the perception l had of the country was yes it might be a big country but it’s not developed. To be honest l expected being in an environment with people dressed like Cartoons characters or ninja just like in movies. l know it’s funny but those are the images of China l had in mind. l also thought that everything that was sold here was fake thanks to my mum because she sent bunch of videos to me asking me to be careful and attentive to the food l will eat and the product l will purchase.

Being in China (Shanghai) the idea l had of the country completely changed. l was amazed by the beauty of this city, from the buildings, the food to its people. l means l just fell in love with the culture. The more spending days, months l was living in this amazing city l was learning and impressed with their lifestyle. The things that impressed me is the time they spend on their phone and the importance of advertisement. There’s literally screens everywhere advertising something even in the subway!


With so much advertisement, people are pushed to purchase. When l asked what people were doing on their smartphones. l was told that they were either playing, watching videos or purchasing. l was also told that when purchasing they spend a lot of time watching reviews of influencers online because their opinion matters.

So, l had to learn more about those “Influencers” also called KOL in China.


What’s a KOL and what are their goals?


KOL or Key Opinion Leaders according to Marketing in China are individuals or groups of people with a very large number of followers. They are very popular on their respective social media platforms.


What are they exactly doing? They help users by giving them advices, reviews about a particular product.


l found out that seeking for advices or the KOL point of view is the new trend but it’s particularly booming in Asia especially in countries like South Korea, Japan and China. It’s so trending that being KOL is a now known as a job and big companies now pay them to talk about their products.

The cosmetics market is the most invested in this. A lot of girls are now interested in taking care of their selves so before buying a product they look for the favorite KOL and take into consideration his/her opinion.

KOL’s perception are very important for brands as the consumers relates more easily to people like them especially if they’re young. The more followers you have on social media the more popular you are and of course the more money you earn.

Papi-Jiang for example is one of the famous KOL in China and for her to advertise a product a company has to pay her at least $3.5million USD.


With this, how do differentiate an honest KOL from a scammer?


68% of Chinese consumers said before purchasing they are influenced by their KOLs perception online. So company should be sure before hiring a KOL that his account is legit as many has fake accounts with fake followers and comments. And also, be sure that the KOL is not only interested in the money but on giving his/her followers his/her genuine and honest opinion about the product he/she is advertising.


We shouldn’t forget the male cosmetics market which is increasing in China. More male is becoming KOL as before it used to be a female sector. Now in malls you can even see male advertising red lipsticks for brands.

This is to prove that this new of marketing products is just increasing every day.

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