Apple steadily remains number one on the list of the top 100 brands in Taiwan (part of our exclusive Asia's Top 1000 Brands research) where it has been for the past three consecutive years from 2019 to 2021. This year, the biggest move in Taiwan was made by Panasonic, jumping from sixth to second place overall. Other Japanese home electronics brands, Sony and Hitachi, dropped one place each, while Philips, Line and Google moved into the Top 10. Meji, Starbucks, and Uni-President, meanwhile, slipped out of the Top 10.
Roger Hong, strategic planning director at Leo Burnett Taiwan, believes that behind the changes of home appliance brands are changing lifestyles after the pandemic. “People were forced to stay at home, and it triggered people’s needs and wants on upgrading household appliances, such as TV and air conditioning and so on. Additionally, people cared about air quality at home, so that demand for air purifiers increased.”
Felix Chang, general manager of Digitas Taiwan, also mentions how staying at home contributed to a rise in disposable income, hence adding to the desire to upgrade household appliances this year. But he questions whether such brands can sustain their momentum into 2022.
Twenty-three brands entered the top 100 brands of Taiwan this year as newcomers. Among them, Foodpanda and UberEats are home-delivery apps joining the list for the first time, thanks to a new home-delivery category added to the survey this year.
Chang says that the home-delivery brands transformed their services and reached out to broader consumer groups. “Kudos to Foodpanda and UberEats on quickly revamping their business models to adapt to the pandemic-hit market, rolling out various new services and moving away from [just] food delivery."
Hong explains how the two brands penetrated the Taiwan market by quickly building brand awareness in Taiwan last year. “UberEats cooperated with many celebrities and had a clear call-to-action tagline to remind people to open the UberEats app when ordering meals," Hong says. "Meanwhile, Foodpanda used several occasions to let people know Foodpanda delivers not just meals, but also your grocery shopping.”
Brands that moved into Taiwan's top 100 in 2021:
Foodpanda (16) New
Some brands jumped dozens, even hundreds of places along the list. From delivery to detergent, DHL and Attack each moved up a whopping 580 places. CP Food also vaulted straight into the Top 100 in Taiwan for the first time at number 17.
Apart from CP Foods, Taiwan local food or restaurant brands also made significant moves. Wangsteak, Taiwan’s best-known steakhouse chain, is one of the biggest jumpers within Top 100. I-Mei Foods also rose over 30 places. Other local food-related brands dropped sharply, such as Uni-president (26,-16) and Wei Chuan (63, -21).
Among ride-sharing brands, Taiwan local brands 55688 Taiwan Taxi and EasyTaxi became two top winners. Chang says 55688 Taiwan Taxi, experienced disruptions by Uber a few years ago and was successfully forced to change. “Over the past 18 months, 55688 has encouraged and incentivised their drivers to change to cars less than 5 years old and adde diversified taxi service to strengthen their fleet of cars. They are now getting results since their popularity grew as Uber was struggling to comply with Government policies in Taiwan. Moreover, they have also improved their digital experience and are offering a variety of payment options to encourage (non-contact travels) and openly communicate through various media outlets on how frequently their drivers sanitise their cars.”
Luxury brands in the Taiwan market have has mixed results. Tiffany & Co., Christian Dior and Hermes made significant leaps, moving into the Top 100 this year. Meanwhile, Gucci and Cartier suffered substantial losses. Chanel dropped slightly (-1) but remains the 3rd place in the Top 10. Armani dropped four places to 50th.
Chang observes a new cultural trend in the luxury market. “Younger consumers look up to their parents of senior members within their circle of friends for inspiration. It somewhat switched in the modern era. Parents nowadays seek advice from GenZ to ensure they stay 'in-trend' and [not] ‘old fashioned’”. Chang believes this is the reason why “more and more luxury brands have shifted their budget to influencer marketing to close the gap between themselves and younger audiences. Because they know if they can win the hearts of GenZ, they can then influence some buying decisions on millennials.”
Hong agrees with Chang about GenZ's power, as “luxury brands are trying to get close to the younger generation. For example, they co-operate with street-style artists or brands, and engage with Gen Z on their Instagram.” However, Hong also thinks that parents influence the kids' buying habits. “Most members of Generation Z are children of Generation X. I would say that GenX was the first generation used to buying high-end products in Taiwan, and they were familiar with luxury brands. They allowed their GenZ kids to own luxury products and even would bring them to buy [them].”
Other Brands on the top 100 list that rose 10 places or more:
I mei (22) +33
Some local brands outshone foreign competitors. Sports drink brand Pocari Sweat from Japan fell to 60 (-19), but Taiwan local brand Supau gained 323 places to enter at 55 this year. Computer electronics brand Hewlett-Packard fell to 82 (-16), but alternatively, Taiwan's Asus leapt from 160 to 46 (+114).
Competiting brands in the same category in Taiwan experienced sharp contrasts in ranking. DHL is the biggest winner this year, jumping 580 places to 86th. Its rival, FedEx, meanwhile fell 13 places to 81st. Among credit card brands Visa moved up 1 place to 14th but MasterCard dropped 28 places to 71st. Convenience store 7-Eleven surpassed FamilyMart in Taiwan this year jumping from 338 to 29, as FamilyMart dropped 13 places ranking 39th. Among skincare and cosmetic brands, Lancome improved exceptionally, jumping from182 to 85 as Shiseido dropped 27 places to 54. Finally, fast-food chains McDonald's (+9, 23) and Kentucky Fried Chicken (+15, 96) gained, while Pizza Hut dropped (-18, 70).
Brands on the top 100 list that fell 10 places or more:
Uni-president (26) -16
Due to travel restrictions and working from home policies of numerous companies and institutions, brands such as IKEA and Nintendo Switch continue to move up the list, following similar home-based upticks in many other Asian markets. Taiwan local telecommunications companies, such as FET and Taiwan Mobile also gained. Other brands benefiting from home-based consumers are US e-commerce giant Amazon(+12), together with Taiwan local B2C e-commerce platform PChome (+50).
Line was one of the biggest winners in Taiwan last year. In the social networking sub-category. Hong notes that brands like Line and Google expanded their business services in many ways. Becoming Taiwan’s super app like WeChat, “Line is not just a communication app, but an app that includes payment, gift, shopping, taxi and gaming, and even becoming a bank this year. Entering people’s life was the key to make the brand strong,” he says.
In the 2021 list, Facebook advanced in Taiwan as well, with Facebook gaining three places to 73 and Facebook Messenger (92, +28) newly joining the Top 100. At the same time, Google also moved into the Top 10 and YouTube (35, +2) continues to grow.
Chang notes these apps are becoming ever more integrated into daily life. “It is now clear to see the influence of tech companies in consumers’ daily life, especially during the pandemic hit 2020-21," he says. And he believes that the growth will continue. “In fact, with people’s habitual behaviour now adapting to the so-called “post-pandemic” era, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see them continue to be strong in Taiwan [in future] years”.