Faaez Samadi
Aug 24, 2016

Dior & Gucci winning the KOL game in China: R3

Study of more than 60,000 key opinion leaders finds that lifestyle, fashion and luxury brands are not generally getting the best ROI from their strategies.

The Weibo account of Janice Kidd, identified as the leading luxury & fashion KOL in China.
The Weibo account of Janice Kidd, identified as the leading luxury & fashion KOL in China.

CHINA - Dior, Gucci and Louis Vuitton are the most successful luxury fashion brands in China when it comes to key opinion leader (KOL) engagement, according to a study completed by R3 and data-analytics firm Bomoda.

The company's comprehensive analysis has also named 400 leading bloggers and celebrities across China’s key social-media platforms, representing 25 iconic fashion brands.

The likes of Givenchy, Burberry and Zara are also present in the top 10 brands with successful KOL engagement.

Bomoda analysed 4 million WeChat accounts (excluding counterfeits) and 60,000 Weibo accounts to aggregate KOL data based on touch points including popularity, sentiment, engagement and purchase intent.

“We wanted to ensure that our analysis was based on a rich data perspective, not merely looking at popularity and mentions,” said Brian Buchwald, co-founder and CEO of Bomoda, which R3 has invested in. There is a lot of hearsay and rumours surrounding the efficacy of individual KOLs and the practice of employing them. We sought to cut through this with comprehensive objective analysis.”

To that end, the report found that several brands are not leveraging their KOLs to their maximum, and thus seeing a lower ROI. As such, the brands that are deploying their KOL strategies most effectively are gaining significant advantages over their competitors.

Sabrina Lee, managing director of R3 China, said: “Managing KOLs in China today is like managing TV media investment in the 20th century. You need to build relationships, brand synergy and above all, you need to carefully track the ROI of each KOL.”

The report breaks down the platforms on which brands are being most effective. Gucci is the strongest KOL performer on WeChat, while Dior and Chanel are the most successful on Weibo.

Regarding the list of leading bloggers, the report indexed mentions, reads, likes, reports, sentiment and overall engagement to evaluate who are the most successful. 

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