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  • Posted by: Amy Edel-Vaughn on Wednesday, October 23 2013 01:47 PM | Comments (0)
    Best China Brands 2013

    China Mobile once again tops Interbrand's Best China Brands report, which is an interesting mix of technology and bank brands. In fact 50 percent of the top 20 brands are banks. Baidu, #11 this year, has made headlines this week for trying to bridge the tech and financial services sectors.

    Reuters reports, "Baidu said it would launch its Baidu Finance Center on October 28, offering a product together with China Asset Management Co. aimed at producing an annual yield of 8 percent for depositors." The move is the latest in a trend of Chinese tech companies seeking licenses to build financial services platforms, including Tencent, #4 on Best China Brands 2013.

    Tencent is a top riser, moving from #11 in 2012 to #4 this year and saw an amazing 84 percent increase in brand value. Another tech brand seeing a dramatic increase in brand value is Lenovo, which moves from #15 in 2012 to #13 and had a 64 percent brand value increase.

    Home electronics brand Haier also rose on the report from #30 in 2012 to #28 with a 14 percent increase in brand value. As Leslie Butterfield, Interbrand's Global CSO, noted in his Best Global Brands 2013 article, China's New Brand Leaders, "Despite slow growth in the home appliance industry, Haier’s 2012 performance surpassed the whole market. Its secret? Haier actively promotes a spirit 
of innovation and entrepreneurship among employees."

    Best China Brands

    While the tech sector saw big increases in brand value and banks continue to dominate, insurance brands continued to face challenges. Taking big hits last year with declines in the rankings, this year China Life saw an 18 percent decrease in brand value and drops three spots from last year to become #7 this year. Ping An, which began as an insurance company, but has diversified into financial services and aims to become, according to its website, "a global leading financial services group by leveraging its insurance, banking and investment businesses" held steady, retaining its #6 spot.

    Writing of Ping An's success, Butterfield observes, "Recognizing that consumers are struggling with complex financial products, the Ping An brand promises to make managing finances easier. The company’s ability to clarify its brand promise and speaking to real human needs is the reason Ping An continues to thrive, even when the rest of the insurance industry is struggling."

    Two brands returning to the report this year are 999 and Shineway. Damage from product safety scandals saw pharmaceutical brand 999 and food group Shineway depart the list in 2012, but 999 comes back in at #40 and Shineway at #45.

    The landscape for China's brands is rapidly evolving in the post-digital globally connected world. China Mobile continues to reign on Best China Brands, but this week the brand posted disappointing quarterly results, leading to a slip in its shares. Adapting, innovating and brand-building will be key to succeeding. In the case of China Mobile, as Rick Munarriz wrote in China Mobile Could Really Use the iPhone yesterday for The Motley Fool, "China Mobile remains the lone holdout among the country's three largest wireless carriers in not offering Apple's iPhone." He adds, "...whether or not that ultimately begins on Nov. 11 as reported -- will be a win-win at a time when China Mobile needs the growth and Apple would love the validation."

    As Leslie Butterfield advised, "From embracing brand-building and imbuing brands with a human touch to advancing sustainable business, Chinese companies that harness the power of their brands will survive the tests of adversity and increasingly make their mark on the world as the 21st century unfolds.

    Amy Edel-Vaughn is Interbrand's Community Manager.

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  • Posted by: Amy Edel-Vaughn on Monday, December 17 2012 05:14 PM | Comments (0)

    While China Mobile claims the number one spot again, there are some shifts in the top 10 this year, including new entrant Agricultural Bank, making its debut at number seven. The Best China Brands 2012 report also sees new entrants, sector shifts and the dramatic exit of three brands because of significant damage to brand value from safety scandals.

    Pharmaceutical company 999, Yuron Food and Shineway, which all exit the list in 2012, were mired in product safety scandals, doing serious damage to their Brand Strength Scores. Shineway’s profits, for example, suffered steep declines at more than 50%.

    The departure of these formerly Best China Brands leaves Yunnan Baiyo as the only pharmaceutical company in the top 50 and Mengniu as the only food sector brand. Both of these brands saw their positions shift on the list with Mengniu moving from #38 in 2011 to #41 in 2012 and Yunnan Baiyo shifting from #27 to #28.

    Best China Brands 2012Banks dominate the Top 10 again, with Agricultural Bank coming in as a strong new entry. Thanks to the large state-owned bank going public in 2010, examination of its financials is now possible.

    Banking as a whole maintained higher income and profit growth than other industries, with 12 bank brands in the top 50. Bank of Beijing, however, exited the list this year. The brand saw healthy growth, but other brands on the list outperformed it.

    Also new to the list this year are leaders in the alcohol sector, Yanghe Blue Classic at #24 and Xinghuacun Fenjiu at #46. Seven of the top 50 brands are alcohol companies.

    Another newcomer is Xtep at #45. With a diversified product offering, celebrity endorsements and varied positioning, Xtep brings the total sporting goods brands on the list to five. Overall it was a challenging year for sporting goods brands, though. Li Ning saw a 41% decline in brand value and dropped ten spots on the list, from #29 in 2011 to #39 in 2012.

    Best China Brands 2012Insurance and securities brands took big hits this year. Insurance brand Taiping, for example, saw a 29% decrease in brand value and dropped from the #28 spot in 2011 to #34 in 2012. China Merchant Securities saw a 27% decline in brand value and dropped eight spots from #30 to #38.

    The tech sector held steady with China Mobile in the top spot and internet services brand Tencent remaining in the top 10. Well-known electronics company Haier moved up four spots, enjoying a 25% increase in brand value. Internet services brand Ctrip, however, suffered a six spot loss with a decrease in brand value of 27%.

    With fierce competition between top brands, safety scandals and a slowing economy, it was a difficult year for many brands. What made the difference for brands that succeeded this year was staying nimble, responsiveness to market changes and continuous innovation.

    Amy Edel-Vaughn is Interbrand's Community Manager.

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