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Alibaba, Tencent are China’s top brands, Interbrand report news

Alibaba, Tencent are China’s top brands, Interbrand report

Interbrand, a global brand consultancy, has announced its Best China Brands 2023. It has been released to its 15th edition, witnessed the growth of numerous local brands and provided strategic advice for brands’ developments from a professional perspective.

Compared to previous years, the changes in brand value presented in this year are more closely related to the macroeconomic trends and highlight the industrial momentum of the current Chinese economy.

In 2023, the total value of brands listed reached RMB 3.3677 trillion, showing a stable growth trend compared to the previous year. Tencent, Alibaba, and China Construction Bank remained ranking as the top three, with the value of RMB 877.921 billion, RMB 687.167 billion, and RMB 191.084 billion, respectively.

al finance and FMCG, dominating half of the list. Meanwhile, technology, new energy, and health sectors collectively make up 16 entries, highlighting the dividends of the emerging industry era and new opportunities for brands. CATL (#39), Mindray Medical (#40), and Sinopharm Group (#41) made their debut on the list, reflecting the rising tide lifting all brands. BYD, with an impressive growth rate of 20%, demonstrates China’s leadership in new energy vehicles, showcasing both technological prowess and brand advantages in the international market.

Against the odds, Chinese brands solidify internal strength, embracing high-quality growth

At present, China’s economic development has entered a new stage of slowing growth. Despite downward pressure, the brands listed are demonstrating overall resilience and potential, with nearly 80% of enterprises achieving steady growth in brand value.

Johnson Gu, Chairman of Omnicom Brand Consulting Group and Interbrand China, attributed the counter-trend growth of China brand values to two main factors. Firstly, China brands have entered a new era of economy, where enterprises are maturing in brand construction while achieving high-quality development. Secondly, with the growth and strengthening of emerging industries such as new energy and health, a group of exceptional brands has emerged, leading to a significant increase in the valuation of top Chinese brands. With a combination of internal and external efforts, and with a solid foundation, Chinese enterprises continue to iterate and upgrade, resulting in the growth of their brand values.

Tencent, which has held the top spot of Best China Brands for eight consecutive editions, strongly confirms the importance of internal cultivation in brand value growth. Tencent has demonstrated continuous brand evolution, which shapes its differentiated brand positioning of technology and culture. Benefiting from this, Tencent has maintained a consistently high brand value over the long term. Additionally, over the past five years, Tencent has continuously expanded its consumer internet and industrial internet businesses, successfully stretching across consumer-level brand to an enterprise-level brand. The uniqueness and innovation embedded in its sustainability strategy are crucial factors propelling the successive enhancement of its brand value.

Moreover, nine brands of Best China Brands 2023 experienced double-digit growth in brand value, including e-commerce and new energy companies such as BYD (20%), Pinduoduo(13%), JD.com (12%), Midea (10%), and NetEase (10%), as well as consumer and tourism brands like Yili (12%), Nongfu Spring (11%), Ctrip (11%), and Wuliangye (10%).

Interbrand’s analysis indicates that the key to their rapid growth lies in their ability to solidify themselves amid the uncertainty of the pandemic, seizing external opportunities through strategic accumulation.

For instance, e-commerce brands represented by JD.com and Pinduoduo gained ground during the pandemic by addressing consumer needs and providing emotional comfort at critical moments, successfully anchoring their brands in the minds of consumers. Similarly, travel e-commerce and consumer brands like Ctrip, facing a pause in the industry, revitalized their brand values by integrating their industry resources and innovating interactive forms.

Seizing Opportunities, New Energy and Health Industries Showcase Brand Power

Notably, BYD and CATL from the new energy sector have performed admirably in this year’s rankings. BYD, first seen in the previous list, not only climbed to 27th place but also maintained an impressive 20% growth against the trend. CATL, as a newcomer, performed admirably by securing 39th place in its debut appearance on the list.

Focusing on the health industry, Mindray Medical and Sinopharm Group made strong entries into the list, securing the 40th and 41st positions respectively. Yunnan Baiyao and Pien Tze Huang achieved a 7% increase in brand value. The outstanding performance of brands in this industry is primarily attributed to the strong rigid demand in the market under special circumstances and the thriving development of the industry. With the dual impact of these factors, health brands are placing a greater emphasis on long-term investment and diversification, thereby driving the growth of brand value.

In summary, brand value is closely associated with macroeconomic trends and industry factors. Taking the example of new energy vehicle brands, with policy support, China’s new energy industry is experiencing rapid development, and brands in related industries are seizing new opportunities. The same holds true for the health sector, where the unique opportunities presented by the pandemic have allowed excellent brands to gain more growth opportunities in the past year. As China moves towards an aging society, the relevant market is expected to continue expanding, providing brands with even broader development space.

The efforts of the brands themselves are also crucial. Taking BYD as an example, despite the fierce competition in the new energy vehicle industry, the brand continually strengthens its foundation through technological innovations like blade batteries and hybrid technology. Such strategic brand building broadens the company’s competitive advantages, consistently laying the groundwork for brand value. Health brands like Yunnan Baiyao and Sinopharm Group adeptly leverage their business advantages, genuinely becoming a part of the lives of a broad consumer base, and thereby enhancing brand value.

Forging a path for two decades, Interbrand has been accompanying Chinese brands every step of the way

Feifei Xu, the Executive Director of Strategy & Development of Interbrand China, expressed that since entering the Chinese market in 2002, Interbrand has consistently dedicated itself to understanding the local market and accompanying Chinese enterprises in facing challenges at every stage.

Best China Brands, initiated in 2006, is a ranking list created by Interbrand using its ISO-certified brand valuation system. The aim of this ranking is to provide a professional and reliable reference for the growth of Chinese brands.

In the view of Feifei Xu, the 15th edition journey of the Best China Brands, from its inception to maturity, spans nearly 20 years. During this period, along with the shift in China’s macroeconomic growth from fast to steady, the development of Chinese brands has undergone a process of rocket-like ascent to stable advancement. In summary, the development of Chinese brands primarily manifests in the following three major trends:

  1. From “Becoming Someone Else” to “Achieving One’s Own”: In the past, Chinese brands tended to benchmark against international counterparts, with tech brands, for example, aspiring to become Apple in China. Now, with the strengthening of their own capabilities, an increasing number of Chinese brands recognize the limitations of imitation, especially after a profound understanding that being “different from others,” from business to brand, is crucial. Brands have shifted their focus towards shaping their “unique selves.”
  2. From “Outward Expansion” to “Precision Focus”: After experiencing several years of broad goals and vague positioning, Chinese brands have learned and honed the ability to focus precisely. Compared to the old strategy of “expanding business and audience without a clear direction,” brand development has transitioned to a new phase of “integrating and expanding along their own center”. With clear objectives and no longer blindly pursuing breadth, Chinese brands are moving toward maturity.
  3. From “Functional Delivery” to “Emotional Engagement”: Similar to individual growth, in the initial stages, Chinese brands were more focused on their own development, concentrating on doing things well. Now, with changes in the macro environment and the maturation of the consumer market, Chinese brands are paying more attention to the interaction between themselves, society, and the environment. By creating a comprehensive and outstanding experience, they are continuously shaping the emotional value of the brand, forming a close connection with consumers.

Based on the current situation, Interbrand believes that, in such a macro environment, Chinese brands will continue to face pressure both internally and externally. In response, Interbrand recommends that brands reflect on their transformation journey, understand the trends in brand development mentioned above, deepen transformation, and become brands with more distinctive Chinese identity.

Looking ahead, Interbrand emphasizes that Chinese brands still need to further refine their internal capabilities, particularly by letting go of anxiety about external uncertainties and focusing their efforts inward. The question of how to withstand external pressures with robust internal strengths and, in turn, create a unique trend is a common challenge for the future development of Chinese brands. It is also the key to brands breaking through obstacles and turning the tide.

The full report can be accessed here

www.interbrand.com

 

 

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