Faaez Samadi
Aug 12, 2019

Malaysia’s Top 100 Brands: Global brands dominate

Consistency is the order of the day for Malaysian consumers, with a few notable exceptions.

Malaysia’s Top 100 Brands: Global brands dominate


Malaysia’s top brands look mostly the same as they did in 2018, with very little fluctuation. This can be viewed in two ways: a win for those brands that have made themselves top of mind to a seemingly very loyal group of consumers, or an indication that they aren’t under enough pressure from rivals striving to grow their presence in the Malaysian consumer conscience.

2019 rank 2018 rank Brand
1 1 Samsung
2 2 Panasonic
3 3 Nestle
4 4 Apple
5 7 Sony
6 5 AirAsia
7 9 Maggi
8 14 Nike
9 6 Google
10 12 Visa

The top four remain identical: Samsung leading the charts, followed by Panasonic, Nestle and Apple. Panasonic’s performance in Malaysia, in an era when the Japanese electronics giants have been steadily supplanted by Korean and increasingly Chinese competitors, is particularly impressive, as is its counterpart Sony, which moved up two spaces to 5th.

Outside of these brands, most changes in the top 20 are marginal. Nike saw reasonable gains, increasing six places to sneak back into the top 10 at the expense of Canon, which continued illustrating the overall slide of the camera industry in APAC by dropping 11 places to 21.

Malaysia’s love for fast food was exemplified further in 2019, with the highest performing brand, Starbucks, rising eight places to 14. Just outside the top 20, McDonald’s (23rd) and Pizza Hut (24th) made their own impressive gains of eight and 11 places respectively.

Pizza Hut saw success with its ‘Singing Pizza’ campaign, which launched during the survey period for this year’s Top 1000 Brands and may have had an impact on Malaysian consumers. On the flip side, despite being known for their impactful campaigns, KFC suffered significantly this year, falling 19 places to 61st.

All other notable changes occurred lower down the list, but that does not make them any less fascinating. Of particular note is the rapid rise of the luxury brand that’s had a triumphant millennial facelift, Gucci.

In the luxury space, the overall Asia’s Top 1000 Brands has been the unassailable dominion of Chanel, the only such brand to be in the overall top 10 — 9th this year — since 2012. Gucci comes next, at 16 this year. In Malaysia, however, the tables are firmly turned, with Gucci leaping 16 places to move into 25th position, while Chanel remained further back in 42nd, moving up one spot.

One of the biggest movers in the top 100 was Huawei, which climbed a massive 33 places to 38th, a remarkable achievement given all the turmoil the company has been in with the US. It seems clear that Malaysian consumers remain resolute fans of the Chinese phone brand, and though it has some way to go to catch the likes of Samsung, Sony and LG (22nd), such a strong increase bodes well.

In another demonstration of the changing popularity of social media brands, Facebook slipped six places to 40th, while Instagram continued its upward journey 10 places to 66th, a gap that looks likely to get ever narrower given the two brands’ contrasting PR fortunes.

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