The report "2019 BrandZ Top 50 Chinese Global Brand Builders" released on Friday by advertising holding company WPP, its research firm Kantar Millward Brown, and Google shows that Huawei leads the ranking followed by Lenovo and Alibaba.
The ranking was based on each company's "BrandZ" measure of consumers' predisposition to choose a particular brand – taking into account how meaningful (meeting functional and emotional needs of consumers), different (taking the lead to be the trend-setter), and salient (popping up in the minds of consumers during purchase) each brand is in seven overseas markets including France, Germany, Spain, the United Kingdom, the United States, Australia and Japan.
Huawei scored high on three aspects of Brand Power. As of June 2018, its global presence has expanded to more than 53,000 stores and 3,500 experience stores worldwide. The sales volume of wearable devices increased by 147 percent year on year in the first half of 2018. Despite all headwinds in the past year, its Brand Power increased by 22 percent from last year and notched up from the second to the top of the league.
Lenovo, which has been shaping its global brand for many years, ranks second and remains unchanged in Brand Power from last year. In contrast, Alibaba saw its Brand Power surging by 48 percent and made it into the top three.
Brand Power of Chinese brands increased by 15 percent from last year, tripling the growth rate of last year, indicating the growing vitality and competitiveness of Chinese companies.
That being said, local recognition of Chinese brands has declined from 19.9 percent in 2016 to 14.8 percent in 2018 among consumers aged between 18 and 34.
David Roth, CEO of WPP Global Retail Business, noted that Chinese brands should go beyond product launching and make more efforts in building brand image with human touch and unique identity. "This is the key for Chinese companies to successfully establish themselves overseas."
Chinese companies are gaining momentum
The growth of the ranking from inaugurating report's 30 brands in 2017 to this year's 50 brands is in part due to the rapid pace at which Chinese businesses are pursuing global expansion. Many of China's brands are championing President Xi Jinping's "Belt and Road Initiative", answering China's clarion call for a new era of globalization in what has been called the biggest development push in history.
The 2019 ranking covers 12 categories reflecting the breadth of business sectors in which Chinese brands are going, and thriving, overseas. Consumer electronics and mobile gaming account for almost half the Brand Power of the full Top 50 (34 percent and 14 percent of total Brand Power respectively), with home appliances and e-commerce the next biggest contributors contributing 11 percent and 10 percent.
Online fashion has seen the largest rise in Brand Power. Home appliances grew by 39 percent, e-commerce 30 percent, smart devices 20 percent, both banks/payment networks and consumer electronics by 17 percent, and mobile gaming by 11 percent. Cars fell 5 percent.
Chinese brands are at the forefront of innovation and its global brand-builders are helping to establish "Brand China" as innovative, cutting-edge and pioneering. China's insatiable appetite for new technology is fueling the growth of many brand categories and powering innovation at an incredible pace.