Local brands give global players a run for their money

Most APAC consumers trust local brands more than global ones, said a new research by McCann Worldgroup’s global intelligence unit, Truth Central. The number of respondents in Asia Pacific (APAC) who have indicated so saw a rise from 40% in 2015 study to 59% last year. Similarly, 56% felt the same across the globe, just slightly under that of APAC.

In APAC, the preference for local brands is the strongest when it comes to health and beauty at 61%. Technology and automotive come after at 43% and 40%. As local brands become more established, global brands are challenged to make their case for why they should exist. Since 2015, the number of people who said that it would be better if global brands disappear nearly doubled to 46% in APAC and 41% globally.

While local brands are definitely on the rise, McCann Worldgroup's regional planning director Judd Labarthe said that global brands enjoy much greater influence if they wield it sensitively. Presenting the "Truth about Global Brands 2: Powered by the Streets" report, he shared that people still believe that global brands have the power to make the world better. This sentiment has been growing stronger in APAC over the years, rising from 40% to 53%. In Singapore, 67% of the respondents said brands can do so by spreading optimism and positivity in the world.

“At a time when the world is becoming angrier, scarier and more intolerant, people across Asia-Pacific are handing global brands a serious mandate: they want brands to help stitch up some of the tears in the social fabric, to appeal to our more communitarian nature," he added.

Consumer insights

Research shows that most people find brands that speak to 'everyone' more meaningful that those that speak to them 'personally'.

This is also even more so in Asia Pacific (72%) than the rest of the world (67%). Also worth noting for marketers is that people in APAC also see creativity as the key to success for brands. About 53% of those surveyed agreed to the statement, “It’s more important to be creative and take risks rather than be pragmatic and create security.”

However, those in Asia are also much more insistent on the importance of truth, requiring twice as many sources as Americans or Europeans before they are convinced. Specifically, 68% of Singaporeans said that “it’s important to put the truth before other factors in all situations”, a 23-point jump since 2015. Globally, respondents believe they need to read five sources in order to feel like they are hearing the truth.

McCann Worldgroup Truth Central launched its initial study, “The Truth About Global Brands,” in 2015. The new Global Brands follow-up 2018 study incorporates findings from McCann’s Truth About Street initiative that sent all 20,000 of the agency network’s employees out to interview consumers. More than 24,000 people in 29 countries were surveyed in the large-scale quantitative study. In APAC, countries surveyed include Singapore, Indonesia, Hong Kong, China, Australia, India, Japan, Philippines, and South Korea.

Read more:
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McCann appoints SVP and director of Truth Central