Why is Marques Brownlee So Popular?

There are thousands of content genres online. One that is set to only grow in popularity is the tech review niche, catching the attention of many budding creators.

Between deep dives into smartphone features and analysis of which mechanical keyboard makes the best ‘creamy’ sounds, there’s endless content to be discovered. Yet the tech space is already pretty oversaturated, with countless creators all offering very similar content, making it difficult for new talent to stand out.

The upside is that technology is constantly evolving, meaning there will always be a need for new product reviews or technical explanations. So, while the tech review niche is pretty competitive, we want to remind you that new creators can always carve out space for themselves. To do this, they need a good strategy. And who better to look to for inspiration than one the best in the business?


Enter Marques Brownlee

When Brownlee, also known as MKBHD, began uploading tech review content from his childhood home 16 years ago, YouTube’s videos were still in the 4:3 ratio. Now 30 years old and with 19M subscribers at the time of writing, Brownlee has become one of the most influential figures in his category.

If you want to break into this category, you just need to answer one question: what is it about Brownlee that has led fans to place him on such a shining pedestal? Let’s find out.

He’s truly passionate about tech

Brownlee started his channel when it was impossible to know just how big YouTube would become. He began recording and posting videos because of a genuine passion for and interest in technology, not because he saw dollar signs.

This passion continues to shine through in every video he produces today, whether he’s advising audiences on purchases or testing out new tech, resonating with casual viewers and hardcore tech enthusiasts alike.

He’s a natural reviewer, creator, and advocate

If you go to the comment section of any of his 2009 review videos, you’ll find a mix of fans making jokes about how young he was, commenting on how confident and articulate he was even as a 14-year-old, and praising him for how far he’s come over the past decade and a half.

While his confidence and knowledge have grown over the years, it’s clear that he had an innate talent for understanding and communicating complex technical concepts, even as a child.

His videos are well-produced

If Brownlee is known for one thing (besides his technical prowess), it's his videos’ high production value. With crisp visuals, smooth editing, and great audio, you get the sense that Brownlee is constantly thinking about his audience’s viewing experience.

This focus on viewer experience, combined with his meticulous attention to detail is just one thing that puts him heads and shoulders above his competition.

He prioritizes authenticity over income

When you work in the tech review space, your integrity is everything. One way Brownlee has maintained this even as he’s grown is to prioritize sharing his honest opinion over potential financial gain.

In other words, he’s not afraid to critique big companies that he could potentially partner with in the future. Viewers know they can trust him to deliver unbiased advice and reviews because he refuses to compromise his integrity for a paycheck.

What’s more, he’s selective about his partnerships. Yes, Brownlee is, by all accounts, extremely wealthy. But in the space he’s in, he could be accepting sponsorships from huge tech companies left, right, and center. But he doesn’t. That isn’t to say Brownlee doesn’t accept sponsorships — he does, and he should — but he focuses on partnering with companies that align with his channel’s content and values, making it clear his advocacy can’t be bought.

He creates content for everyone

With his unique mix of deep technical knowledge and industry experience, Brownlee’s content could easily have become skewed toward an equally knowledgeable audience over time.

But he’s kept his content incredibly accessible, breaking down complex tech concepts using easy-to-understand language. Whether you’re a dedicated fan or a novice who’s stumbled across an MKBHD review when researching a new product, you know you’re in good hands.


Want to model yourself off Marques Brownlee?

If you want to base your content strategy on Brownlee’s, we don’t blame you. After all, he’s the best at what he does for a reason. Get a head start on cracking the popular tech review niche with these four tips inspired by MKBHD.

1) Focus on your passions
Rather than tackling the broad category of ‘technology’ head-on, we suggest focusing on the areas you’re most interested in, such as AI or gaming. Passion combined with a niche focus can be powerful in helping set a creator apart from their competition.

2) Stay true to your roots
While your content and style will evolve over time, it’s important to stay true to yourself — especially as demand for authentic, relatable content remains at an all-time high. Brownlee’s content quality has improved over the years, but he hasn’t undergone a huge transformation in terms of how he speaks or engages with his audience.

3) Make it easy for your audience to trust you
Trust is everything in the world of content creation, especially if you’re a reviewer. Brownlee’s refusal to be anything but honest means he’s seen as credible by his audience — something all creators should keep in mind when negotiating partnerships and brand deals.

4) Provide value to everyone
Tech content exists to educate audiences. Whether you’re breaking down the pros and cons of a new product or explaining a technological concept, focus on using language that everyone can understand, just like Brownlee.

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