A view of the booth of Tencent during an expo in Beijing. （HUANG YONG/FOR CHINA DAILY）
Certain Chinese brands — technology giant Tencent, liquor major Moutai, short video publisher TikTok, cross-border e-commerce specialist Shein and bottled water producer Nongfu Spring — have bucked market downtrends in their respective niches to enter the Top 100 of the world's most valuable brands, an industry report found.
According to the Kantar BrandZ Most Valuable Global Brands Report 2023, some Chinese brands have shown remarkable momentum this year, boosting their global reputation with confidence.
In the Top 100 list, Tencent remains among the global Top 10. It is followed by Alibaba at No 14 and Moutai at No 18. Shein and Nongfu Spring made the list for the first time, at No 70 and No 81, respectively. Haier continued to build a new paradigm of "rainforest"-like eco-branding and steadily improved its brand performance to hit at No 59.
"The number of Chinese brands in this year's Top 100 list is unchanged from last year at 14," said Doreen Wang, CEO of Kantar China and global chair of Kantar BrandZ.
"The gradual rebound of the Chinese market is very exciting, showing a consistent focus on the high-quality development of brands. The power of brand innovation is crucial and irreplaceable," she said.
"Brands must always stand with consumers, constantly meet people's aspirations for a better life, and build up core competencies that can last beyond the current cycle and remain steady for a long time."
The expansion of brands into multiple categories or markets can enhance risk resilience, meaning that Chinese brands may be well-served by reaching into new segmentation needs and playing a greater role in the overall ecosystem, said Wang.
The rankings show that the total brand value of the world's top 100 brands now stands at $6.9 trillion.
Despite a 20 percent drop in the overall index compared with that of 2022, the Kantar BrandZ Top 100 retains its long-term growth trajectory, posting 47 percent growth compared to the pre-COVID level in 2019.
With a brand valuation of $880 billion, Apple, ranked No 1, has proven resilient in the face of testing market conditions, justifying premium prices with positive perceptions, and proving that meaningful, different and salient brands are best placed to weather global economic disruption, said the report.
Google and Microsoft complete the top three, commanding the largest share of brand value, according to the report.
This year, sales of both fast food and luxury goods are proving resilient, said the report. What top brands from both categories share is a tendency to excel in consumer perceptions of value.
Consumers think that fast food is a "great value for the money" — but so, too, are top luxury brands, because of the way their products represent a "justified premium "that will retain their value over successive years, the report said.
Across most consumer-facing categories — from automobiles to alcohol — brands' luxury and low-cost propositions thrived, while offerings with more muddled value propositions struggled, said the report.
With sustainability becoming a priority for consumers worldwide, brands must adopt practical strategies quickly to capitalize on the growth potential of the present era.
"In China, brands need to establish sustainable systems tailored to the local market to promote an environmentally friendly economy," said Lynn Zhang, managing director of Kantar China.