Matthew Miller
Jul 6, 2017

Thai consumers go for modern conveniences

Analysis of the 2017 top 100 brands in Thailand shows spending power lifting home-appliance vendors.

Thai consumers go for modern conveniences

Analysis of the 2017 top 100 brands in Thailand shows spending power lifting home-appliance vendors.

The death of death of King Bhumibol Adulyadej in October cast something of an economic pall over Thailand. However, brand equity—as measured by consumer sentiment in our Asia’s Top 1000 Brands research—tends to react over longer time spans to more enduring shifts, as well as individual brands’ struggles or triumphs.

While the top three brands in Thailand remained unchanged from 2017, and five others remain in the upper echelon, the top 10 list did see two significant changes:

  • Honda and Mitsubishi traded the 10th and 12th slots, with Honda moving up and Mitsubishi down. Both carmakers (and to a lesser extent Toyota, at 65) are well-positioned to take advantage of a market that’s expected to boom as the expiration of a tax break frees many people to trade up from cars they’ve held onto since 2012. Honda, for example, expects to increase sales by 12 percent in Thailand this year.
  • Canon dropped out of the top 10, falling from ninth last year to 14th this year. Into the vacancy came LG, which moved in at ninth on the strength of its TVs, washing machines and air-conditioners. By the way Canon, following the trend in the overall APAC rankings and other individual markets, remains in much better shape than its rival Nikon, which dropped 143 spots year-over-year among Thai consumers.  

The strongest trend apparent in the top 100 ranking is that the spending power of a growing middle class is driving strong performance for consumer-electronics and especially home-appliance brands. In addition to LG’s rise, Panasonic climbed from sixth to fourth. And further down the list, Philips (up 25 spots to 73rd) and Sharp (up 33 spots to 69th) also made strong gains.

Beyond that sector, international names make up a conspicuously high proportion of the list of brands that fell furthest since last year’s survey:

  • HP (-45 spots to 108th)
  • Boots (-28 to 70th)
  • Bridgestone (-28 to 94th)
  • Pedigree (-27 to 71st)
  • Nestle’s Koko Krunch (-25 to 93rd)
  • Prada (-23 to 109th)
  • Nescafe (-21 to 59th)
  • Mamy Poko (-20 to 76th)
  • Christian Dior (-17 to 56th)
  • Dell (-16 to 91st)
  • Maggi (-12 to 40th)

The reasons for some of these drops are readily apparent (HP, Dell), and we may be able to ascribe others to the dip in FMCG spending following the king’s death. Most likely however, the appearance of so many MNC brands is coincidence—although future surveys could of course prove that conclusion mistaken.

Like many urbanising nations, convenience is on the upswing in Thailand. Uber and Grab entered the top 100, payment services made big gains, and 7-11 rose 14 spots.

A few other sector-related moves seem notable:

  • Thai people don’t seem too happy with local financial-services companies: Siam Commercial Bank fell 21 spots to 98th, Thai Life Insurance dropped 13 spots to 92nd, and Kasikorn Bank slipped seven spots to 72nd.
  • A shakeup is afoot among mobile providers, with PTT rising 17 spots to reach 33rd, while AIS dropped 11 spots to 24th and DTAC fell 12 spots to 32nd.
  • In travel, Booking.com came on strong—and notched the highest rise among the Thai top 100. It ascended 57 spots to 55th and entered a dead heat with Agoda, which fell 21 spots to 54th.

Other notable moves:

  • Shiseido +44 to 52nd
  • Pizza Hut: +25 to 85th
  • Thai Post: +22 to 64th
  • Lazada: +15 to 39th
  • MK Restaurants: -43 to 96

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