Chinese consumers are more supportive than ever of local brands that stand tall on the global stage, according to the 2019 China Brand Relevance Index from Prophet.
One of the most striking findings in the 2019 Index is the surge of Huawei, DJI and Li-Ning, which all made it into the top 50. For Chinese, Huawei has become a symbol of national pride and technological prowess, Li Ning's brand revival indirectly promotes Chinese cultural confidence and DJI has an international reputation for its camera drones.
"As national brands continue to show world-class innovation while revitalizing Chinese heritage, Chinese consumers are more supportive than ever. People and businesses alike are more confident and ambitious," the Prophet survey found.
According to the 2019 results, the top 10 most relevant brands rated by consumers are Alipay, Huawei, Android, DJI, WeChat, Bilibili, Xiaomi, China CITIC Bank, Intel and Audi.
Prophet measures brand ‘relevance’ via a survey where consumers rate brands on 16 different attributes. The 2019 edition, conducted by consumer data provider Dynata, included views from more than 13,000 Chinese consumers on over 250 brands across close to 30 industries. Prophet does not include brands in the tobacco and firearms categories or brands engaged solely or primarily in B2B selling.
Though many are increasingly nationalist, Chinese consumers—pragmatic as ever—still welcome foreign brands with open arms, the survey showed. Chinese are attracted to brands that continue to deepen their role in the daily lives of consumers, with the products and servies people find most relevant being those that are dependable, consistent and so helpful and consumers can't live without them, represented by brands Android, Intel and Microsoft, it said.
In addition, technology passionate Chinese consumers begin to look for technology-driven experiences that make their lives more convenient, rich and fun, according to Prophet.
As lower-tier Chinese cities continue to show impressive purchasing power, there are opportunities for brands to penetrate, the index showed. "As a result, brands seeking to grow in the lower-tier market need to adapt their business models and go-to-market strategies to better integrate into the local lifestyle," the report said.
“The China Brand Relevance Index has cemented the idea of ‘consumer-led, showing changes in the needs of Chinese consumers and the role that brands play in their lives,” said Feifei Xu, associate partner at Prophet. “The insights we uncover form the foundation of a brand’s path forward, promoting its relevance to consumers in the Chinese market,” Xu said.