HONG KONG: Consumers in the Asia-Pacific region are twice as likely (60%) as their global counterparts (28%) to think brands can improve their quality of life while a full 82% say they can trust brands, according to new research.

However, such positivity does not mean APAC consumers are willing to spend more on their favourite brands, according to the Asia-Pacific segment of Havas Media's Meaningful Brands report that has been seen by Campaign Asia.

Globally, "meaningful" brands achieve a 46% lift in consumers' share of wallet compared with lower-performing brands, but the proportion drops to 37% in Asia-Pacific.

Havas polled 36,000 consumers about 304 brands across seven countries in the region – China, India, Indonesia, Japan, the Philippines, Singapore and Australia.

Among its key findings, the report revealed that many of the top performers in the markets surveyed are brands in the FMCG, pharmaceutical and retail sectors.

Heritage or local bands appear to be favoured over global brands when it comes to "meaningfulness", the report also uncovered.

These include Woolworths in Australia, NTUC Fairprice in Singapore, Aqua in Indonesia, Amul in India, Biogesic in the Philippines, Haier in China and Panasonic in Japan.

Furthermore, there is a clear difference in the attitudes consumers adopt regarding brands in the region's developing markets compared with consumers in Australia, Japan and Singapore.

Havas said that meaningful brands are seen as providers of personal and collective wellbeing in developing Asian markets and this presents opportunities for brands to grow and engage.

Vishnu Mohan, CEO of Havas Media Group, Asia-Pacific, explained that 83% of people in "emerging Asia" trust brands compared to a global average of about 50%.

"What this essentially means is that there is an opportunity for brands to build on the optimistic sentiment of consumers and further cement their relationship," he said.

Indeed, engagement levels in developing Asia are already high, the report found. Whereas people in developed Asia report that they wouldn't care if 89% of brands disappeared, that number falls to 40% in emerging Asian economies.

Data sourced from Campaign Asia; additional content by Warc staff