The China Brand Relevance Index, which is conducted by strategy and marketing consultancy Prophet, has revealed the brands that are indispensable in Chinese consumers lives, with technology-led and digital brands accounting for nearly half of the top 50 brands.
The ranking was led by Alipay and WeChat, which were the first and second ranked brands for the second consecutive year, followed by Android, Ikea and Apple. In sixth place was Nike, followed by Estee Lauder, BMW and Marriott, with NetEase Cloud Music rounding out the top ten.
The ranking, which determines brand relevance based on four principles; customer obsession, ruthless pragmatism, pervasive innovation, and distinctive inspiration, revealed the continuing consumer preference for digital, social media and e-commerce brands with Alibaba and Tencent dominating the list.
Alibaba had three brands in the top 50 with payment platform Alipay (1) and e-commerce platforms Tmall (18) and Taobao (35) all making the list. Tencent also had three brands with WeChat (2), video platform QQ (28) and Tencent Games (44).
The ranking also revealed the growing popularity of the sharing economy in China with the rise of brands such as Mobike (14) and Airbnb (45), surprisingly bike-sharing company Ofo and ride-sharing company Didi both missed out on a top 50 spot ranking 54th and 87th respectively.
Group buying and food delivery app Meituan and recommendation app Dianping also secured top 50 positions at 40 and 41 respectively, reinforcing Chinese consumers’ increasing reliance on apps that are improving their daily experiences.
Tom Doctoroff, senior partner at Prophet, said: “Chinese consumers today live, work and play in a connected, digital world, so the brands that deliver useful, easily accessible and enjoyable experiences are going to be the most relevant to their lives.”
“Brands today cannot stay still. They need to earn and re-earn loyalty at every micro moment in the customer journey, again and again. They have to be relentlessly relevant. This is more true in China than anywhere else. The brands that scored high in our Index enjoy healthy long-term demand and a strong bottom line because they are constantly reinventing themselves to satisfy and delight consumers.”
The report surveyed 13,500 Chinese consumers in 39 cities. The ranking is also released in the US, UK and Germany where Apple was the top-ranked brand in each country, while Google made the top three.