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"Recommendation Power" Marketing vs "Appeal Power" Marketing

July 25, 2023

"Recommendation Power" Marketing vs "Appeal Power" Marketing

Do you feel that product recommendation is not as effective as before?

In the past, as long as the content was spread to a certain level on a certain product recommendation platform, there would always be a few "popular articles", bringing GMV visible to the naked eye to the store. But now the situation is:

  • The vertical bloggers who placed orders before have been unable to attract new traffic;

  • Vertical bloggers and pan-population bloggers outside the industry can only contribute traffic, but cannot contribute GMV;

  • The conversion of top bloggers has been steadily decreasing, and this conversion is still achieved at a "low price".


The product recommendation platform and MCN's pursuit of commercialization make the effect continue to be overdrawn. Most product recommendations have become "product placement in content" instead of "product recommendations with goods". At the same time, I saw another phenomenon: some brands rarely do marketing, but they can sell well as soon as they go public. In June of this year, Ideal L9 and Li Xiang swiped the screen of social media together. It is said that this car has been on the market for 72 hours, and the order has exceeded 30,000, and it has even been searched on Weibo.No one would doubt that this result is due to the high advertising budget of Li Auto. Ideal has always been called a "cutting factory" by the outside world, and advertising costs only account for 3%.


Moreover, car sales are greatly influenced by word of mouth, so car manufacturers are very concerned about maintaining KOL relationships, and the budgets for product recommendation and PR are generally abundant. However, ideal cars usually invite people to test drive, and they just give out a small biscuit, and there is even no transportation fee. Dismantling the marketing ideas of ideal cars, I think this type of brand is not building the brand's seeding power, but focusing on building the brand's appeal. This kind of brand that can set off a hot sale as soon as it goes on the market, I call it a "appealing brand".


Why is product recommendation less and less effective?


Product recommendation marketing is effective because it reduces "user costs", including learning costs, trust costs, money costs, and reach costs.

1. Learning costs

When KOL helps brand product recommendations, the notes and videos produced by KOL become product manuals and usage guides.

Moreover, KOL's statement is more popular and easier to understand, greatly reducing users' learning costs.


2. Trust cost

KOL helps with product recommendations, which essentially use personality as a guarantee to endorse the brand's trust.

With the mentality of loving the house and black, the fans believed in the things recommended by the blogger, which reduced the cost of the brand to win the trust of consumers.


3. Money cost

There is a price for brands to seek KOL product recommendations, and this price is that the brand must give specific discounts, especially to top bloggers.

Because planting grass will somewhat consume the trust of KOLs, the behavior of planting grass must be dressed in the cloak of "favorite fans", so that KOLs dare to feel confident and bold.

When KOL "cut down the price" of the brand, he helped fans save money in a disguised form.


4. Reach cost

Today, when advertisements are overwhelming, we have learned to automatically ignore and brush away advertisements.

The marketing material is a "content implantation". By making the advertisement into content, KOL attracts users to read it and reduces users' defensiveness. Therefore, planting grass reduces the cost for enterprises to reach users.

To sum it up in one sentence: product recommendation marketing is essentially reducing the user's selection cost.

But why in the later stage, the effect of product recommendation will be overdrawn? Because when a behavior becomes a norm, the user's "vertical cost" decreases, but the "horizontal cost" does not change.

When product recommendation marketing floods and all opponents are planting grass, the costs that have been reduced will be taken for granted by users.

Study cost - Each company talks about its own strategies, and consumers are confused.

Trust costs - Endorsement for money, trust overdraft.

Money cost - Everyone is making a profit, and the price is no longer attractive.

Reach cost - Seeing through the blogger's routine, the attractiveness of the content will decrease, and the completion rate will decline.


And when a brand focuses on improving the conversion rate of product recommendation marketing and keeps trying to reduce the selection cost of users, it is likely to lead the brand astray.

Recommendation Power PK Appeal Power


In the past two years, sun protection clothing has been very popular. The price of a well-known Taobao brand is about 30 US dollars, but the top outdoor brand's skin clothing, such as the Arc'teryx which has been popular in the past two years, costs about 300 US dollars.


On the one hand, it is noisy soliciting customers. Some Taobao brands that started out with sun protection clothing have been creating a "feeling of extremely low selection costs" to allow users to quickly convert; one side is posing coldly. A big outdoor light luxury brand like Arc'teryx has always exuded charm coldly, making users grit their teeth and pay for it.

In fact, the technology of sun protection clothing is not complicated, it is to use anti-ultraviolet coating or anti-ultraviolet fiber to absorb and reflect ultraviolet rays.Therefore, the sun protection of $300 Arc'teryx sun protection clothing may not be 10 times stronger than that of a $30 brand, but Arc'teryx has an appeal that the "$30 audience" does not have.All brands with appeal are not selling products in essence, but selling meaning.A brand that focuses on product recommendation, its way of thinking to create an "optimal solution", strives to make itself the best, and will unconsciously please consumers.

For example, many new consumer products are priced at white brands and feel like big brands, so you don’t feel distressed to buy them, and you don’t feel ashamed to use them.

For another example, a candy brand may purposely design the packaging to be larger and shrink the size of individual candies to increase the overall quantity of candies.

The anchor in the live broadcast room can compare the box with the face plate, and then pour the candy on the table to form a hill so that users can feel how cost-effective the $3 gift box is.The brand that focuses on appeal, and its way of thinking to create "I yearn for", strives to make itself the most right, and will find ways to have the right to speak. Brands that focus on growing grass have been trying to give consumers the best value for money, so they have been cultivating "smart consumers".

Not only will such consumers not take advantage, they will also contribute to the brand. This is actually not difficult to understand, because people don't cherish things that can be easily obtained, including rankings, missions, and commodities.


If you want to become a brand that consumers are willing to pursue and contribute, you must learn to lead consumers' value orientation, so that consumers can become brand believers and become a brand with appeal.

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