Minnie Wang
Sep 6, 2021

Rewarding loyalty helps brands make gains in Hong Kong's top local brands ranking

ASIA's TOP 1000 BRANDS: Rewards programmes and savvy online marketing allows brands to break new ground in an otherwise stable list of local brands in Hong Kong.

Rewarding loyalty helps brands make gains in Hong Kong's top local brands ranking

Hong Kongers are loyal to their local brands. The list, a mixture of food and beverage companies, retailers and banks, bakeries and public services, has remained relatively stable in 2021, according to Campaign's and NielsenIQ's Asia's Top 1000 Brands report. By comparison, the top 100 list was in a state of flux.

The strongest local brands are interconnected with people’s daily lives. ParknShop, under AS Watsons Group, has dominated the list for three consecutive years. Lee Kam Kee has moved up three places to 3rd place.

As Watsons dropped four places to 9th. Wellcome, under Dairy Farm, now the DFI Retail Group, moved from 10th to 6th. Garden Bakery, which supplies almost all the city's restaurants and caterers, moved up one place and replaced Cheung Kong Holdings at 7th place.

Last year, HKTVMall became an exceptional example of rising ecommerce business in Hong Kong. However, this year, the brand moved from 4th to 5th. 

Two brands were pushed from the top 10 list of Hong Kong's strongest local brands—Cheung Kong Holdings and Cathay Pacific.

Dairy Farm took over the 9th slot from Cathay Pacific. Almost a year ago, Dairy Farm initiated a large-scale marketing and rewards programme, Yuu. More than 50% of the Hong Kong population registered for the reward programme within the first three months, and Yuu became the most downloaded app in the market. Under the Yuu program, Mannings also moved up on the Hong Kong Top 100 and strongest local brands list. Maxim's jumped up six places from 19th to 13th. 

Working together with M&C Saatchi Spencer Hong Kong (see details in M&C Saatchi's 2021 Agency Report Card), the Yuu rewards programme won three awards for Campaign’s Events Marketing Awards in March 2021, including a Silver for best content marketing, a Gold for best integrated marketing gold, and a Gold for best launch.

While a successful campaign can raise brand awareness, Royce Yuen, co-CEO of MaLogic and visiting associate professor at the University of Hong Kong Business School, believes that long-term brand performance relies on "delivering, not just making promises".

"A brand will be less vulnerable if it has established a strong bond with its stakeholders and is less affected by any competitive moves," Yuen noted.

Yuen went on to explain that retail brands "are more visible and hence may occupy a higher position in our top-of-mind awareness in general".

"However, branding is a complex topic that cannot be measured linearly. Some brands are catered to fulfil our basic needs, while there are brands that play a critical role when we pursuing a higher level of purpose in life," he explained.

This year, we have also witnessed more Hong Kong local brands moving up along the list. MTR, Amoy, Octopus Card and Wing Wah are new entrants among the top 20, replacing 759 Store, Red A, CSL and Cafe de Coral. 

Local brands have stepped up their digital game in the past year, using techniques such as livestreaming in ecommerce and influencer marketing to generate sales and increase their popularity, explained Ivy Wong, founder and CEO of VS Media.

"We've done a lot of livestreaming campaigns with local brands, and we can actually see a very big increase in online sales in Hong Kong," Wong said. "Livestreaming is becoming a very good tool for marketers in Hong Kong to build brand awareness, achieve sales goals, and realise conversion."

Short video and livestreaming also lower the costs and barriers for local brands to tap into a larger market, such as mainland China.

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