Nike named top client in Asia

05 October 2012

SINGAPORE: Nike, the sports brand, is regarded as the most attractive client to work for by creative agencies in Asia, a report has revealed.

The Talent Business, the recruitment firm, polled 79 senior executives, some 76% of which saw Nike as a "very desirable" customer. Another 21% called it "quite desirable", and 3% "very undesirable"

Apple, the electronics pioneer, claimed second place in the rankings, as 74% of the sample viewed the maker of the iPod and iPad as a highly appealing partner and 16% described it as relatively attractive.

Google, the online giant, posted 69% and 21% on these metrics respectively, ahead of adidas, one of Nike's major rivals, which registered 60% and 32% in turn.

Volkswagen, the auto manufacturer, followed next, and was perceived favourably by 69% of interviewees, beating Coca-Cola, the soft drinks specialist, on 64%.

Only 14% of the panel gave this status to L'Oréal, the beauty firm, rising to 15% for GM, the car company. GlaxoSmithKline, the pharma group, logged 19%, with Johnson & Johnson, the healthcare expert, on 21%.

Moreover, none of the agency leaders questioned thought these organisations would represent "highly desirable" additions to their current customer base.

Colgate-Palmolive, the dental care-to-petfood group, actually recorded the greatest proportion of "very undesirable" responses on 32%, while 36% of contributors described it as "quite undesirable".

The characteristic which made brand owners most attractive in this area was their reputation for fostering a collaborative relationship with agencies, mentioned by 63% of participants.

Charlie Thomas, managing director, Asia Pacific, for The Talent Business, suggested a key reason for this is that the services agencies provide have often been treated as a commodity by marketers.

"In Asia the desire to work collaboratively with clients is key to a successful client–agency partnership, which is perhaps a reflection of the supplier mentality that some clients in Asia have at a local level with their agency partners," he said.

More broadly, the analysis found that working with "ideas-driven" companies was the number one priority for creative shops. Delivering campaigns with a "global impact" was least important, on 19%.

Data sourced from The Talent Business; additional content by Warc staff