China brands grow on international stage
Beijing - Though the mainland is not immune to the global economic environment, the country's brands continue to grow in importance: some of the top-tiered winners include China Mobile, ICBC and China Construction Bank.
The third annual BrandZ Top 50 Most Valuable Chinese Brands study from Millward Brow, show brands remain an important determinant to Chinese consumption behaviours.
"As the growth rate of Chinese economy slows, brands become a more important discriminator of consumer choice," David Roth, CEO of The Store of WPP, said.
"As this study shows, strong brands help Chinese companies grow faster. This is set to accelerate as the Chinese economy rebalances."
One of the biggest benefiters are home-grown brands, he added, seeing that Chinese consumers are undergoing a rebalancing of views between local and international labels.
"In the past, international brands always trump Chinese ones - they exhibited higher trust and quality, but what we're seeing is that the Chinese brands are beginning to understand how to appeal emotionally to the locals, which was previously the territory of foreign labels."
A good example is Septwolves, a men's apparel brand that increased its brand value by 44% and is second only to Tencent in this year's list of fastest risers.
Roth linked its success to the fashion label's ability to create a distinctive product with a message that is relevant and consistent while delivering quality and style - which he names "the golden ticket and winning strategy" to consumer marketing.
Dubbed a "wake up call" for both home-grown and overseas brands, Roth added that the gap between the two are tightening and both need to up their game in terms of the price-quality ratio, value proposition, and strengthening emotional ties with the consumer.
"Same goes for international brands to sharpen up their value proposition: assuming that you can purely win on being an international label without good value is not sustainable in the long run."For marketers and advertisers, the change in climate should see new branding methods that instill corporate trust in consumers in a way that "doesn't just explain why it's making the product, but why it exists as a company at all".
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