• Akina Wong

【Competitive Analysis】Why are these 3 role models favoured by the picky Gen Z?

Updated: May 29

In the content marketing of a brand, the selection of which app to promote, the novelty of topic creation, the popularity of chosen KOLs and the way of blog posting are of course very important. However, there are many uncontrollable factors affecting the topic's "explosion" degree 一 when to issue the topic, which audience to be selected, and etc.


So how should brands target audience groups in 2021 and master the audience’s psychology to achieve the best results in KOL marketing? Here we will introduce three brands 一 China UnionPay, M&G Stationery and Thermos LLC, which successfully target the right audiences at the right time with the right content that is favoured and welcomed by target users.


At the time of graduation and back-to-school seasons, major brands launched campaigns one after another. China UnionPay, Chenguang Stationery, and Thermos started topics about the back-to-school season on August 20, and topics about graduation on May 21.


【The back-to-school and graduation season】


These themes are clearly targeted at students and it is particularly important to choose the content or platform that young users prefer to watch.


Weibo is a major social media platform. Since its launch in August 2009, Sina Weibo has maintained explosive growth. At the end of October 2010, the number of registration of Sina Weibo exceeded 50 million. As of September 2020, the monthly active users of Weibo reached 511 million.


The report 《2020年微博用户发展报告》has shown that the post-90s accounted for 48%, the post-00s accounted for 30%, and the total proportion of the two age groups was close to 80%, indicating that Weibo users are getting younger.


Due to the widespread use and popularity among young generations of Weibo, these three brands chose the platform as their promotional channel, and China UnionPay promoted their topic exclusively on Weibo.


In terms of the Xiaohongshu app, the user group is even younger and has higher spending power. The latest data has shown that Xiaohongshu currently has more than 100 million monthly active users. In 2020, there are nearly 300 million notes published, and more than 10 billion note exposures are generated every day.


The number of post-00s users ranks first, and the number of female users is far greater than the number of male users. Thermos (thermos cup) and M&S Stationery, therefore, set their sights on this platform. The packaging design of stationery and healthy lifestyle promotion of thermos cups can be very effective if they are properly advertised, attracting a huge number of potential consumers.


Meanwhile, UnionPay’s QuickPass function does not have an obvious gender orientation, and the brand has not promoted it on the Xiaohongshu platform.



M&G Stationery invited 25 KOLs on Weibo and 18 KOLs for the back-to-school topic. Thermos pays more attention to the promotion on Xiaohongshu, and the number of KOLs on Xiaohongshu is about twice as many as on Weibo.


【The choices of KOLs】

The report《2020微博用户发展报告》has also shown that the post-90s and post-00s audiences are still the main force of groupies. Among them, post-00s users pay more attention to celebrities, averagely following 20 celebrities; the post-90s averagely follow 18 celebrities, and the post-80s averagely follow 15 celebrities.


The brand thermos invited the celebrity @朱一龙 as the spokesperson, and target the young fans, students mostly.


At present, the brand official announcement published by @朱一龙 on May 21 is still the one with the highest amount of user interaction in the topic, with a number of likes reaching 102.9w. This shows the great power of the fan effect and its effectiveness in enhancing the product's popularity.


UnionPay is more conservative when selecting Weibo accounts for promotion. The 8 accounts selected are basically the official Weibo of universities, and the university students are invited to promote the "Cloud QuickPass" activity.


The promotion of M&G Stationery features exquisite graphic design, in line with its brand image. The domains of invited KOL are of wide variety 一 mainly entertainment bloggers with tens of millions of followers on Weibo, and nano-influencers and micro-influencers on Xiaohongshu.


Up to now, the topic #晨光开学季# has reached 580 million audiences; #银联开学季# has reached 6.2w audience; #膳魔师的美好毕业礼# has reached 6746w audiences.


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