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AsiaKOL亞洲達人通 最專業的跨境網紅行銷,微網紅分潤團隊!


Posted on 2024/05/17 14:10




The development in the KOL collaborating form set off a wave of co-branding partnership between brands and KOLs in 2023. It is easy to come across the co-branding strategies between many brands and KOLs, involving several food, fashion to hotels. Co-branding is an effective marketing strategy applied by many brands to win their position in the market. It involves collaborating with celebrities or KOLs to expand brand reach and enhance brand exposure by repackaging or launching new products. In this article, AsiaKOL takes advantage of our exclusive AIE database to review the KOL collaboration marketing in 2023 and analyze successful KOL co-branding case studies. Readers will thereby gain an insight into the characteristics of KOLs that are most favored by brands. 

      1. KOL Collaboration Marketing In 2023: 2Uncle Joined The Co-branding Race In Various Products

By organizing the co-branding cooperation of high-volume and popular KOLs in 2023, AsiaKOL figured out that fashion and food are the two fields mostly adopted KOL collaboration marketing. Besides, we also witnessed co-branding campaigns in other less popular categories, such as daily necessities, camping supplies, and hotels. KOLs with the most co-branding campaigns in 2023 were Tsai A-ga, Bugcat Capoo and Kerina_hsueh. They are all famous KOLs who have rich experiences in the zone, with an absolutely high number of followers. On the other hand, the rest of the KOLs only cooperated with related brands based on their active attributes.


      2. Co-Branding KOL Types And Category Distribution: Fashion And Food Lead The Trends

In 2023, KOLs that implemented strategic co-branding partnership with brands were mainly from fun and comedy, food, skincare and beauty categories, while the rest were fashion and travel. In addition to being the categories with the most well-known KOLs, these fields also usually have the most resonance with audiences, attracting brand attention. For example, high-traffic YouTubers in the field of fun and comedy, such as Thetiffanychen, share content that is life-like but has fashionable elements, thus attracting fashion brands to cooperate with them; Or KOLs Chienseating and Crown Du, who have distinct food preferences, attract food brands to launch co-branded products with different themes based on their styles.


Among KOL co-branding category distribution in 2023, fashion accounted for the highest proportion, including clothing, makeup, bags, shoes, accessories, etc. Many online clothing, bag, and shoe stores were facing fierce competition in the same industry, so boosting sales through KOLs’ influence had become the destination in marketing. Different from normal KOL collaboration, "co-branded products" focus on adding KOL's related ingenuity into the products. Brands even invite KOLs to personally participate in the design process, allowing them to share the design concepts in the community. By exposing the design concepts on social media, the co-branded products are brought closer to followers, thus increasing purchase incentives, and creating a win-win situation.


      (1) Fashion 

Now it’s time for real case studies! Taiwan Women’s Shoes Grace Gift collaborated with several trendy KOLs to introduce new products for different seasons in 2023. The co-branded seasonal shoes focused on the Japanese style of sweetness, which brings out a feminine and fresh vibe. In summer, Grace Gift launched bubble platform slippers with cute and lively Kimi Ji and elegant flat slippers with graceful Sena. In fall, the trendy platform chunky boots were brought to customers through the famous KOL aka model Kerina_hsueh. Both three mentioned KOLs shared various glamorous outfit photos with daily backgrounds on social media to inspire followers. 


On the other hand, ROBINMAY, a handbag brand favoring innovation and the creation of colorful handbags, also launched co-branded handbags with three KOLs from different styles and positioning. Specifically, Beautywu showed up in two co-branded handbags, featuring photos of three people holding three colors of the handbags, which stands for comfortable and bonding friendship. The large tote handbag for playful mommy YouTuber TheTiffanyChen was made of unique linen material, emphasizing the role of a mother and her daily need for carrying maternal stuff. Finally, the shiny YouTuber NANACIAOCIAO's co-branded bag was designed exclusively for traveling. The handbags were tailored-designed to fully reflect the identities and personalities of the KOLs.


The clothing section has various choices for brands to collaborate with KOLs in different types, styles and seasons. Among them, the co-branded collections of fashion between Chienseating and PAZZO not only took lookbooks but also filmed videos to record the entire shooting process, promoting matchable and easy-to-wear inspirations. On the other hand, NANACIAOCIAO collaborated with AIR SPACE to introduce various youthful and lively one-piece swimsuits and bikinis for summer, with in-detail videos to bring the products closer to followers. Both KOLs helped spread the co-branded campaign by sharing videos and posts on social media.


      (2) Food

Co-branding collaboration in the food category was mostly focused on fresh foods and desserts in convenience stores, such as FamilyMart and 7-ELEVEN. Regarding FamilyMart, the convenience chain launched several fresh foods and desserts with different KOLs in 2023. Differing from the common co-branding form, FamilyMart cooperated with food KOL’s “own brand”, combining its original food types and flavors. For example, FamilyMart mastered the brands’ unique styles, such as “Sui Sui Kitchen” with traditional Taiwanese flavor by Chienseating, “WA! COOKIES” with rich dessert by WawaKu, and “Kimkfoods” with authentic Korean food by the Korean KOL Ggukim, and developed specialty gourmets from them. The new co-branded gourmets were then highly promoted to followers through Instagram Reels by the three KOLs, attracting them to stop by FamilyMart!


In contrast, 7-ELEVEN chose high-traffic KOLs for the co-branding strategy in 2023. The "JOE Loves Food" series of co-branded products launched by Joeman and the convenience chain caused controversy due to the high price and the failure to meet expectations in the materials used. However, the campaign still attracted attention thanks to Joeman’s high popularity. The taro dessert launched together with Ku's dream added French elements and successfully attracted consumers and followers who also love taro. The two also exposed their co-branded products through YouTube long videos to catch attention.


      (3) Other Categories

2uncle is well-known for her family and her own maternal and infant clothing brand “Hahababy”. The KOL has attracted many brands from different fields to collaborate with her, like Beigang Chao-Tian Temple in the marketing campaign of two pajama gift sets for baby, with the slogan “Protect children’s safe growth”; Evergreen Palace Hotel Chiayi also launched a family theme room featuring many elements of Hahababy. YouTuber Tsai A-ga used to unbox the room to call for experiences on his channel.


      3. Three Types Of KOL Co-Branding Form: Created By KOL For A Fresh Spark

In general, there are three common forms of KOL co-branding collaboration, involving “Brand x KOL Co-branded”, “Brand x KOL Own Brand” and “KOL Own Brand x KOL Co-branded”.


       (1) Brand x KOL Co-branded

Brands collaborating with KOLs is the most common form of strategic co-branding marketing, in which brands will combine their elements with KOL’s iconic features, invite them to join the product design and R&D process, and finally launch co-branded personalized products. This can be seen in the handbag brand ROBINMAY. The brand signed YouTuber Beautywu up to be the "READY Ambassador", launching two co-branded easy-to-wear handbags. The lookbook named “I AM READY” stands for its readiness for every opportunity at any time. From the design concept and style, followers can completely feel the passionate soul of Beautywu in it. 


       (2) Brand x KOL Own Brand

Some KOLs start-up personal brands based on their expertise in specific fields. The brands collaborate with their personal brands to find common opportunities between the two. In addition to incorporating the creative value of KOLs, it also gives the brand a new look. For example, the companionship between FamilyMart and WawaKu’s brand WA!COOKIES has entered its third year. Every year, the new tea-themed co-branded products are highly welcomed by the customers, and the strong collaboration to create KOL products with both traffic and quality has helped FamilyMart’s sales double for two consecutive years.


       (3) KOL Own Brand x KOL Co-branding

Besides brands, KOLs also form alliances between their brands and other KOLs, creating new energy and enlarging the follower base by co-branding with KOLs in different styles. ANIREK is an elegant and graceful fashion brand founded by super-KOL Kerina_hsueh for daily work outfit. The KOL brand established a partnership with sweet KOL Kimi Ji in 2023 to introduce many fashion collections. The two beauties also shared their bonding companionship through Instagram Reels, raising discussion waves but also injecting vitality into ANIREK’s original fans. The success of Kerina_hsueh and her ANIREK ft Kimi Ji has become the case study for KOL Own Brand x KOL Co-branding.


      4. The Most Popular KOLs In Collaboration Marketing: Co-Branded Products Are Highly Dependent On The Collaborated KOLs

AsiaKOL analyzed the total number of interactions on posts and videos released by KOLs and found that, Chienseating and 2Uncle both made the list twice among the top 10 most popular KOLs reg.


The top 1 in interactions is Joeman and 7-ELEVEN in the co-branding strategy of rice balls, sandwiches, drinks and other foods. The co-branded foods were accused of being too expensive and unpalatable, at the same time, they were criticized for "ripping fans off" using Joeman’s fame. However, the subsequent apology video showed a good attitude and its popularity still remained high.


TOP2 is a light snack and dessert collaborated between 7-ELEVEN and the famous YouTuber "Ku's Dream" who loves taro. They carefully selected local varieties of taro and jointly developed the "Ku's Dream" collection of products. The KOL also combined his French identity to make changes to the classic French desserts eclairs and croissants, which received a lot of positive comments in the community.


TOP3 is the jointly branded fresh food "Taiwan Season With Sui Sui" introduced by Chienseating and FamilyMart. With the Taiwanese flavor of "Sui Sui Kitchen", the co-branded campaign launched a variety of Taiwanese specialty snacks, attracting discussions and responses in the community. The success of the top three co-branded cooperations mentioned above was ascribed to the KOLs ’s popularity and influence, as well as the co-branded attributes were consistent with the KOL’s business direction.


       5. The Spread Of Co-Branded Products Supplemented By Small Activities In Helping The Brand Word-Of-Mouth Benefits

Looking at the above KOL co-branded trends and reviews in 2023, AsiaKOL figures out that "KOL co-branded products" can often set off a heated discussion in a short time. Through the influence of KOLs, co-branded products can invisibly accumulate social reputation, strengthen the topic of the products, and continue to create sales results.


AsiaKOL suggests that when promoting KOL co-branded products, brands can also hold various small activities to increase the stickiness between followers and KOLs. There are several kinds of activities to organize, such as inviting followers to upload the purchased co-branded products to Story and tag the KOLs ’ account, allowing them to reshare their stories; Or holding a "Co-branded Post Contest" to invite followers to unbox co-branded products, spreading the products out through their creativity, in which the winners will receive limited gifts. These methods can effectively sustain the benefits of word-of-mouth and attract a large number of followers to purchase the products. In this case, AsiaKOL is proud to have rich experience in working with well-known brands in the past. We also obtain an exclusive KOL database, which can compile the KOLs with the most co-branding advantages, organize their attributes and advantages for brands, and help them seize the co-branded product market in a short time.







AsiaKOL亞洲達人通 最專業的跨境網紅行銷,微網紅分潤團隊!