US millennials like Chinese brands

19 September 2014

CHICAGO: Chinese brands have a "tangible opportunity" to establish themselves in the US market, a new study has claimed, as millennials are open-minded to products from overseas, ranking China ahead of neighbouring Mexico or tech/car exporter Korea.

Monogram Group, a branding agency advising Chinese manufacturers on building US brands, surveyed more than five hundred 21-32 year olds, testing their attitudes and buying patterns as regards China and Chinese brands.

While most (96%) preferred to buy US goods, China featured strongly among countries this group would buy from, with 61% willing to buy items originating there. This was just behind Germany and Japan (both 67%), both of which have a long history of making high quality products.

In fact, 58% of respondents said they would likely buy a Chinese branded product in the next three years.

When asked specifically about their thoughts on purchasing goods from China, a majority (84%) said they were willing to buy such products. And twice as many would think about buying brands they recognised (28%) as compared to ones they didn't (13%).

"The major takeaway from this report is that the popularity of Chinese products exceeds those from other major markets, and the willingness to buy is even stronger if the brand is recognised," said Scott Markman, Monogram president.

"Our research demonstrates with proper brand development, broad online/offline distribution and service/warranty support on par with established global brands, Chinese brands have a tangible opportunity to gain a foothold in the US market in the near future," he added.

This was especially true in certain categories, notably office products, electronics and light bulbs, where more than 50% of respondents indicated a willingness to purchase even though their awareness of brands in these categories was negligible. Lenovo (51%) and Haier (22%) had the highest awareness levels.

Set against these optimistic prospects for Chinese brands, however, was the continuing perception that Chinese products are low quality and low price. Some 47% held this view, compared to just 26% who thought they were good value products.

Data sourced from PR Newswire; additional content by Warc staff