Byravee Iyer
Mar 7, 2014

Consumers ready for ‘Made in China’: FutureBrand

ASIA-PACIFIC - The world is finally ready to buy ‘Made in China’ products, as the country ranks ninth in FutureBrand’s inaugural “Made In” research, which studied the reputation of countries of origin among consumers worldwide.

image.Heading
image.Heading
image.Heading
image.Heading

Not surprisingly, the US topped the list, followed by France, Germany and Italy. Japan and South Korea also made the top 10. The research ranked countries across six categories: food and beverage; personal care and beauty; automotive; electronic goods; fashion; and luxury. The study, which included 1,050 consumers from the US, France, Brazil, India, China, Japan and Australia, looked into purchasing power and perspective to understand how origin and brands influence preferences and ultimately choices.

According to Sarah Reiter, FutureBrand’s president, Asia-Pacific, country of origin is now a strong preference driver, more important than price and availability. “Where a product or service or brand comes from is foremost in consumers’ minds," she said.

Origin makes up five layers: where a product is designed, where it’s sourced, where it’s assembled, the region it’s sourced and finally where the company is incorporated. Consumers can discern those layers now, and businesses need to harness that information, Reiter said.

“This is good news for China businesses and brands, which are shrugging off negative stereotypes—cheap, low-skill, low-tech. China is now shifting towards being associated with modern, sophisticated, high-tech.”

China performed most strongly in retail, automobile, technology and electronics. Some of the companies responsible for the changing perception are technology companies like Alibaba, Xiaomi and Lenovo. Carmaker Geely and food manufacturer Shuanghui (now WH Holdings) are also faring well, according to the research. Companies like Lenovo and Geely have seen improved brand perception after major strategic acquisitions. Xiaomi, the maker of affordable smartphones, is a good example of a homegrown business that represents the new generation of Chinese brands.

Conversely, China performed poorly as a country brand, suffering weak perceptions across dimensions like value system, quality of life and tourism.

Reiter said this research is important as brand owners have an opportunity to differentiate themselves. The challenge for big brands is two-fold, she said. Do not rely on scale alone; authenticity is key, and brand owners need to showcase the emotional qualities of their brands. Drawing comparisons with marquee brands from France and Italy, she said that companies need to slowly but surely build the character and essence of China.

The second big challenge is around building an ecosystem. “Real branding is about creating an ecosystem that is conceptual , emotive, ethereal and experiential,” Reiter said.

 

 

 

 

Related Articles

Just Published

5 hours ago

Purpose, laughs, and boppable tunes: Spikes jury ...

SPIKES ASIA X CAMPAIGN: Presidents and members of several Spikes Asia juries share the top trends they spotted in the jury Zoom rooms, with video examples.

5 hours ago

Crash Course: How to tell engaging short-form stories

To round off a week of creativity-themed content during Spikes Asia X Campaign festival, this Crash Course provides useful tips on how to build story arcs and create thumb-stopping campaigns for short-form.

5 hours ago

Lessons from Tesla, Apple and yoga (yes, yoga) in ...

SPIKES ASIA X CAMPAIGN: Creatives need to drive relevance for sustainable options, instead of virtue-signalling about sustainability, argues Gulshan Singh of FCB Interface.

5 hours ago

Spikes Asia Awards 2021: Campaign's contenders 3

As the juries make their final selections ahead of the March 1 winners announcement, Campaign Asia-Pacific's editorial team has once again scoured through the 2021 shortlist to pick out the work we expect to win.