Chinese brands tipped for global success

27 September 2010

HONG KONG: New research has shown that global sales of Chinese brands could increase at the expense of their Western counterparts over the years to come.

The study, conducted by the Hong Kong 4A's (HK4A's) in collaboration with holding companies Omnicom, WPP, Interpublic and Publicis, indicates that the technology and automotive industries could experience especially rapid international growth.

Poll respondents - who are all brand experts working in agencies around the world - suggested the ad industry has a "golden opportunity" to extend the appeal of Chinese brands across the globe.

HK4A's chairman Richard Thomas said: "With time and good brand management, we can expect more Chinese brands to succeed outside China."

But the survey also highlighted the fact that the low cost of many Chinese goods was discouraging consumers from buying.

While in some markets, including the Middle East and Africa, such "value for money" was seen as a positive, in other areas these price points were associated with "low quality".

In all, one in five respondents said appropriate pricing is necessary if Chinese brand perceptions are to improve.

Thomas Isaac, research director at TNS, commented: "Chinese brands need to convince the rest of the world that their quality standards are at least as good as, if not better than, those of major International Brands.

"Getting both international and local certifications of quality standards could be a first step towards this, followed by effective communications to change consumers' perceptions."

Other insights from the respondents include the idea that Chinese brands should try to enhance their "after-sales culture" to build trust.

Currently, the top three Chinese brands in terms of awareness are Lenovo (recognised by 75% of respondents), Air China (72%) and Bank of China (61%).

A total of 490 ad agency brand experts from 29 countries were questioned over the course of the survey.

Data sourced from HK4A's; additional content by Warc staff