In a clear signal that strong global brands can grab the hearts and minds of consumers anywhere, brands that are not homegrown are doing very well in the latest iteration of "Asia's Top 1000 Brands," published by Campaign Asia-Pacific with data from Nielsen. Two of the top five brands in the ranking — Apple and Nestle — are not of Asian origin, although the Korean brand Samsung placed first among all brands in the ninth year of the study.
Asia's Top 1000 Brands is based on Nielsen's analysis of consumer brand preference in 12 key regional markets across Asia-Pacific: Australia, mainland China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.
Interestingly, the study revealed that even Chinese and Indian brands seem to be facing challenges in gaining consumer recognition within their home markets. While last year's survey results placed eight Chinese brands within the top 20 brands ranked within China, this year's results had only three local brands. Only three local brands made it into the top 20 in India as well.
Homegrown brands continue to do well in certain markets. In South Korea and Japan, for example, Samsung, LG, Sony, and Panasonic have retained their dominance. But in such areas as luxury goods, global brands are winning the brand war.
Top category winners include BMW (cars), Tiffany (jewelry), Louis Vuitton (luxury fashion), Johnnie Walker (spirits), and Rolex (watches). "Findings from this year show that luxury retail brands are moving up the rankings faster than ever, indicating the region's increasing affluence and rise in disposable income," said Jolene Otremba, Campaign Asia-Pacific's Reports Editor. "Another trend is that the region's growing wealth, and the aggressive push of these brands into Asia has also led to global brands being more top of mind amongst Asian consumers."
For the third year running, consumer electronic brands continue to lead the rankings. “This is a reflection of the high involvement level consumers have with these product categories, especially handheld devices and entertainment electronics, in an increasingly connected world,” said Therese Glennon, managing director of consumer insights and innovation, APMEA of Niselsen.
The economy played a significant role in determining brand preference as well. This was very evident in the airlines category, for example, where Cathay Pacific Airways and Singapore Airlines, global brands in their own right, were bumped from top positions by lesser known budget carriers Air Asia and Jetstar.
Samsung's first-place finish was as much about the brand's awareness and its ability to diversify as anything. “Samsung has a product almost everywhere you look, from mobile to appliances to cameras,” said Zayn Khan, CEO, Asia-Pacific, of brand consultancy FutureBrand. “They spend heavily on media, which helps the brand be even more pervasive.”