Apple tops China brand charts

11 September 2012

BEIJING: Apple, China Mobile and Nike are considered to be the three most "engaging" brands by urban Chinese consumers, a report has revealed.

R3, the consultancy, polled 1,500 people in the nation's ten largest cities to discover their favourite brands, which products boasted the highest online awareness and the general values associated with leading companies.

Apple, the electronics pioneer, led the charts on 138.2 points, not least as a result of the launch of its iPad 3 tablet in the country.

China Mobile, the telecoms group, came next with 124.7 points. One factor behind its success was the "Changing Our Lives" campaign, part of a wider effort to emphasise the firm's technological and corporate social responsibility goals.

"Both Apple and China Mobile have been champions at driving engagement," said Greg Paull, R3's principal. "Both brands have achieved heightened awareness - the two brands have truly leveraged paid, own and earned media better than anyone else in China."

Nike, the sportswear giant, followed next, and recorded 88 points. Making up the top five were Yili, the dairy conglomerate, on 81 points, and Coca-Cola, the soft drinks specialist, posting 76 points.

Elsewhere, the analysis looked at which of 800 media outlets enjoyed the strongest perceptions. Sina Weibo, the microblog, took first place on 91 points, overtaking Baidu, the search engine, on 86.4 points.

Q-Zone, the social media platform, claimed third on 83.4 points, ahead of Taobao, the ecommerce site, with 79 points and Tencent Weibo, another property similar to Twitter, on 74.8 points.

According to R3's figures, some 65% of people who access Weibo platforms – of which there are several – currently do so from a smartphone, versus 62% using a PC and 23% logging on from a tablet.

"These statistics go to show just how deeply embedded mobile has become into the daily rituals of Chinese consumers," said Paull.

The study also found that 9.7% of Weibo users interacted with Coca-Cola via these channel. Samsung, the electronics company, scored 8.6% here, with Nike on 7.1% and adidas on 5.2%.

"Coke's hefty investments in digital marketing have struck a chord with Chinese consumers, and it plays out in awareness," said Paull.

Data sourced from R3; additional content by Warc staff