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Welcome to The Stream: Allison+Partners’ content hub that features the latest news and trends making the biggest waves in media and marketing.

NOVEMBER 20, 2017 //     

Aping Amazon, Retailers Play Loyalty Card In Holiday Season

Photo: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg

After years of watching shoppers flit from store to store in search of the biggest deals, retailers are hoping their attempts at building some loyalty will finally pay off this holiday season.

Chains have aggressively rolled out rewards programs in recent years, and there are signs that the efforts are beginning to get results. Hollister's stunning 8 percent same-store sales growth last quarter was credited in part to the teen retailer's Club Cali perks.

NOVEMBER 20, 2017 //     

These Cosmetic Brands Are Letting Consumers Define What Beauty Means to Them

Photo Illustration: Yuliya Kim; Sources: Glossier, Fenty, Thrive Causemetics, CoverGirl

In October, CoverGirl unveiled a new, more inclusive brand positioning that better reflected its consumers. The work from creative shop Droga5 featuring new CoverGirls like Insecure creator Issa Rae, 69-year-old model Maye Musk and the new brand tagline, “I Am What I Make Up,” was a radical shift for one of the biggest beauty brands on the market and indicative of a change in tone for beauty marketing.

Beauty brands are looking not only to be more inclusive in the way they show bodies, skin tones and people of varying ages in marketing campaigns, but also to revamp how they speak to and listen to consumers.

AGENCY NEWS // NOVEMBER 20, 2017 //     

'Engaged enthusiasts' can sway purchase decisions

Almost one quarter (23%) of internet users in Asia merit the description “engaged enthusiasts”, who exert a disproportionate influence on their peers in matters such as spreading brand awareness and swaying purchase decisions, research has shown.

Comms agency Allison+Partners surveyed more than 3,000 consumers in three countries for its Asia-Pacific Influence Impact Report and found that social media “is today the essential platform for product awareness”.

AGENCY NEWS // NOVEMBER 20, 2017 //     

‘Engaged enthusiasts’ have outsized impact on brand awareness, purchase decisions

INFLUENCE can be a powerful force for businesses both on- and offline, and in many ways, it’s becoming increasingly important in the saturated online space.

A study by media company, Allison+Partners found that “engaged enthusiasts”, a powerful group of Asian consumers who wield immense influence among other consumer groups, could help drive up businesses’ sales conversions through a combination of opinion and recommendations.

AGENCY NEWS // NOVEMBER 17, 2017 //     

Allison+Partners Study Uncovers New Insights on Consumer Influence in Asia Pacific

There is a powerful category of Asian consumers who have disproportionate influence in their ability to spread brand awareness and drive purchase decisions, according to the latest Influence Impact Report from Allison+Partners.

These “Engaged Enthusiasts” are more likely to follow and trust social media influencers and key opinion leaders (KOLs), more receptive to marketing content across channels, and more likely to give recommendations to others. This makes them a critical target for brands seeking word-of-mouth buzz and preference.
AGENCY NEWS // NOVEMBER 17, 2017 //     

Hyper-engaged Asian consumers key to driving sales

Brands should focus their energies on targeting so-called ‘engaged enthusiasts’ online in Asia as they have a “disproportionate influence” on their peers in terms of spreading brand awareness and purchases.

According to Allison+Partners’ latest Influence Impact Report, 23% of total internet users in Asia qualify as engaged enthusiasts, people who are more likely to trust KOLs and other influencers, be more receptive to marketing content, try new products or offers and, crucially, give recommendations to others.
NOVEMBER 17, 2017 //     

Which APAC KOLs are Key?

Photo: topchinatravel.com

By: Paul Mottram

Across Asia Pacific, social media has become mainstream. In China, for example, there almost one billion users of WeChat, Tencent’s messaging service that combines messaging with social sharing, ecommerce and payments. Marketing resources – whether paid, owned or earned – are highly allocated towards social platforms.

Amid this shift, marketers are increasingly turning to online influencers, often known simply as KOLs (key opinion leaders) as an alternative to interruptive, frequently intrusive, and often ineffective banner-based advertising. The logic is simple: social endorsement from online opinion leaders or celebrities will reach and appeal to consumers in a natural and compelling way as they scroll through their feeds.


At Allison+Partners, we wanted to look more closely at how influence really works. So, the latest installment of our Influence Impact Report, takes a deep dive into the dynamics of influence in Asia.

This October, we surveyed 3,065 consumers across the China, Japan and Singapore markets, looking in particular at the food & beverage, financial services, consumer electronics & mobile devices, and travel & leisure sectors. We wanted to understand what kinds of influencers have the greatest and deepest impact? How do consumers weigh the influence of KOLs against that of their friends, families and peers closer to home? And ultimately, how does influence translate into word-of-mouth buzz, shares, and recommendations for brands and products?

The research reveals some intriguing findings:

  • While Asian consumers in these markets are overwhelmingly online, often for at least 3-4 hours per day, direct word of mouth remains the single most powerful influence on them
  • Younger Asian consumers are frequently more conservative, skeptical of change and seeking validation for their product or service choices
  • The brand attributes most valued are social responsibility and visual presentation that matches the consumer’s preferences
  • Influence comes from a variety of sources, depending on the product category. Online influencers and KOLs play a role, but it’s often subsidiary to other sources, such as professional or expert reviews, feature articles, and consumer reviews—and always works in concert with them
  • KOLs are most followed in China, followed by Singapore and Japan
  • Consumers who follow KOLs are on average significantly more likely to recommend products and services to their friends, family and co-workers than those who don’t

The report reveals the complex nature of influence in the region, and suggests a framework for understanding and leveraging it. Influencing word-of-mouth is the name of the game, and getting it right involves not only selecting the right influencers, but also appealing to the subset of consumers – we call them Engaged Enthusiasts – that has a disproportionate influence on their peers.

Download the Influence Impact Report here, and contact us for more information on how we help brands get influence strategy right.

Paul Mottram is managing director of All Told, Asia Pacific.

NOVEMBER 16, 2017 //     

Facebook's New App Connects Creators with Video, Fans and Watch Shows

Photo: Facebook for Creators

Facebook is trying to win over the influencer crowd with an app built just for them, and it connects to Watch for those influencers with an official show on the social network.

The Facebook Creator App, announced Thursday, will give internet stars a place to create and edit videos, film live, message with followers and track stats about their videos. The app is for people with a Facebook Page, not just a personal account.

AGENCY NEWS // NOVEMBER 16, 2017 //     

The Power of Engaged Enthusiasts: Allison+Partners' Study Uncovers New Insight on Consumer Influence in Asia Pacific

There is a powerful category of Asian consumers who have disproportionate influence in their ability to spread brand awareness and drive purchase decisions, according to Allison+Partners’ latest Influence Impact Report. These “Engaged Enthusiasts” are more likely to follow and trust social media influencers and key opinion leaders (KOLs), more receptive to marketing content across channels, and more likely to give recommendations to others. This makes them a critical target for brands seeking word-of-mouth buzz and preference.


Making up 23 percent of total internet users in the region, Engaged Enthusiasts are defined by their openness to influence at large, and potential to influence the opinions of their immediate peers.

  • Seventy-nine percent say they are extremely or moderately likely to make recommendations to others, compared with 34 percent of other social media users
  • Forty-one percent are likely to post their recommendations on social media, compared with 21 percent of other social media users
  • Seventy-three percent trust recommendations or endorsements from influencers or KOLs a great deal or a lot, compared with 25 percent of other internet users

The Asia Influence Impact Report draws on original consumer research conducted in October and November 2017 among consumers in China, Japan and Singapore. It features data on general preferences and detailed information on consumer preferences about products and services in four key categories: consumer electronics and mobile devices; food and beverage; travel and leisure; and financial services.

“Influence comes from many interrelated sources and how marketers select and prioritize influencers for their brand is critical,” said Paul Mottram, managing director of Allison+Partners’ All Told group in Asia Pacific. “While reach is important, it’s not everything. Will those influencers be perceived as credible and an authority for your brand or category? Will consumers trust their recommendations?”

Finding the right influencers takes rigor and a proven process for identification and evaluation. To that end, Allison+Partners’ proprietary Influence Impact Score approach helps define the correct blend of influencers for a brand by quantifying and scoring the complex variables that determine potential impact.

“Influencer engagement programs should be both measurable and accountable,” Mottram said. “The Influence Impact Score gives marketing communicators a valuable new tool to help target and justify their programs accordingly.”

Other research findings in the report include an assessment of the brand attributes Asian consumers value the most. The top two factors that emerged overall are a brand’s social responsibility and the extent to which a brand’s visual style aligns with the consumer’s tastes.

“Asian consumers appear to value brands that not only do good, but also brands that look good – or make the consumer look good by being associated with them,” Mottram said.

The report also contains a wealth of insights and actionable advice on:

  • Consumer preferences and social media usage in the region
  • The relationship between the influence through “external” sources and the influence that takes place within consumers’ own networks
  • Additional insights into consumer preferences in China, Japan and Singapore and within four vertical markets
  • Strategies for activating the influence of “Engaged Enthusiasts”
  • A proven formula for selecting and prioritizing influencers and KOLs

About the Influence Impact Report

The Influence Impact Report is an ongoing series that explores the dynamic forces that shape and drive consumers in an active ecosystem of influence. Allison+Partners compiled this report based on an online survey of 3,065 Chinese, Japanese and Singaporean internet users between October and November 2017 using the Qualtrics Insight Platform, which also provided the consumer panel. To download the Influence Impact Reports, visit http://www.allisonpr.com/what/influence-360.html.

AGENCY NEWS // NOVEMBER 16, 2017 //     

Brands Should Focus On 'Engaged Enthusiasts' In Asia: Study

A category of Asian consumers wields disproportionate influence when it comes to spreading brand awareness and driving purchase decisions, according to new research from Allison+Partners.

The Influence Impact Report polled more than 3,000 consumers in China, Japan and Singapore, finding that 23% of respondents can be described as 'engaged enthusiasts' — more likely to follow and trust social media influencers and key opinion leaders (KOLs), more receptive to marketing content across channels, and more likely to give recommendations to others.  READ MORE
NOVEMBER 16, 2017 //     

Are Podcast ‘Super Listeners’ Audio Advertising’s Next Sweet Spot?

Photo: Getty ImagesWe all have that podcast friend—the one who can’t seem to stop referencing podcasts and telling you which ones you have to listen to. But it turns out these “super listeners” could be useful for marketers, according to a new report by the Knight Foundation and Edison Research. READ MORE

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