Commissioned by WPP and in its second year, the BrandZ 'Top 50 Most Valuable Chinese Brands' rankings combine both financial data from Bloomberg and Kantar Worldpanel, as well as consumer opinion gathered from interviews with over 35,000 Chinese consumers.
In addition, for inclusion in the ranking, all brands must have been created by a mainland Chinese, publicly-traded enterprise and reported positive earnings in 2011.
The top five spots were filled by China Mobile, ICBC, Construction Bank of China, Bank of China and Agricultural Bank of China. In total, the combined value of the top 50 brands registers at US$325 billion, representing more than five per cent of China's economy.
However, China Mobile's brand value dipped slightly by four per cent as the telco was challenged by China Unicom in heated competition amid rollouts of 3G services and the Apple iPhone 4S.
FMCG brands also dominated the top 50 ranking this year, with cooking oil and rice producer Fulinmen's brand value growing by 138 per cent, and dairy giant Mengniu up 66 per cent after recovering from its food safety scandal.
Doreen Wang, group account director, Millward Brown China, told Campaign the research agency is working to broaden BrandZ to lower-tier cities next year to reflect their heightened status in consumer power.
Meanwhile in the internet category, web portal Sina is the top riser with its brand value up by 244 per cent, climbing 15 places in the rankings due to rapid growth in social media and consumer perception of its innovativeness.
In addition, three online brands made their first appearances in the rankings, namely Renren (social networking site), Ctrip (online travel site) and Sohu (internet portal).
Adrian Gonzalez, CEO of Millward Brown Greater China, commented, “China is evolving from maker to innovator, and this year’s massive rise in new media brands is showcasing this change.”
On the other hand, BYD had to contend with a less robust ranking, the automaker dropping by 29 places this year. The value of the brand decreased by 83 per cent, apparently affected by compensation claims for defective airbags that failed to deploy in a number of car crashes.
Wang predicts more e-commerce and social networking brands may make it into the ranking next year after their stocklisting plans, such as 360buy.com.