Kantar: Value of the Top 100 Most Valuable Chinese Brands Exceeds $1.24 Trillion Despite a Challenging Year
Kantar BrandZ’s Top 100 Chinese Brands 2022 has, for the second year in succession, surpassed the monumental $1 trillion mark, reaching $1.24 trillion in overall brand value, in what has been a uniquely challenging year for China, and the rest of the world.
Despite a decline of 20% year-on-year in the overall value of the Top 100 China ranking, Chinese businesses have demonstrated the importance of building and maintaining a resilient brand, particularly when faced with uncertainty and global challenges, such as retail and supply chain disruptions, inflation, rising energy costs and the resurgence of COVID-19 restrictions.
Tencent ($204.4bn) retained the number one spot for a second year running. The technology giant has been concentrating on its main business, expanding steadily and organically, and adhering to its technology innovation strategy. Tencent continues to explore the potential of new technologies in serving consumers, enabling industries and contributing to solving social challenges. At the same time, Alibaba (No.2, $137.0bn) continues to expand its portfolio of standalone retail offerings. Alcohol brand Moutai (No.3, $108.5bn) proved resilient as its brand value dipped only 2%, and continued its emergence as one China’s most popular premium brands.
The Kantar BrandZ Top 10 Most Valuable Chinese Brands 2022
Brand Value ($M USD)
Media and Entertainment
Media and Entertainment
Newcomers and fastest risers
Lifestyle-focused social platform Xiaohongshu (No.37, $6.6bn) meaning ‘Little Red Book’ and intelligent speech and AI technologies company iFLYTEK (No.53, $4.2bn) were the highest-ranking newcomers to join the China Top 100 this year, along with 13 others from nine categories, including five brands centred around food, drink, and casual dining, highlighting the potential brand value in these markets. Three brands re-entered the Chinese brand ranking this year: YTO (No.88, $2.0bn), HAVAL (No.93, 1.8bn) and TCL (No.94, $1.8bn).
Growing 66%, athletic apparel brand Li-Ning (No.64, $3.4bn) was the fastest-growing brand in the Top 100. It successfully combined technical innovations with nostalgic and patriotic styling cues while its cumulative investment in fashion has now paid off. Six brands: Li-Ning,China Telecom (No.28, $8.8bn), Chow Tai Fook (No.38, $6.1bn), Xing Hua Cun (No.52, $4.2bn), BYD (No.29, $8.7bn), and Haier (No.9, $33.2bn) - grew by more than 25%.
With a focus on collaboration, rather than competition, Haier (No.9, $33.2bn) has risen two places to break into the Top 10. Its global expansion strategy and constant innovation in both consumer and industrial technology applications has contributed to a year-on-year growth of 26% in brand value.
Car manufacturer BYD rose 29% in brand value due to rapid growth in both China and overseas markets and became the world’s best-selling new energy vehicle (NEV) brand during H1 2022, as Chinese car exports doubled passing two million units for the first time.
Historical Kantar BrandZ data shows that investing in strong brands not only insulates businesses from short term challenges, but also ensures a faster rebound relative to one’s competitors.
Commenting on the ability of Chinese brands to deal effectively with the many challenges faced by global businesses, Doreen Wang, Kantar Greater China CEO and Global Chair of Kantar BrandZ said: “In difficult economic times, having a strong brand does not make a business fully immune to changes of fortune, but it can help soften the blow. This year, we’ve studied the Kantar BrandZ data closely to gain insight into what gives brands their resilience and ability to steadily improve regardless of market conditions.”
She added: “During VUCA* times, Chinese brands can start with building stronger perceived value, embracing sustainability, and improving end-to-end innovation capability. Strong brands never shy away from uncertainties. Instead, they should take them head on with these actions to create higher brand value and ensure a better future.”
Smaller and stronger
This year was a year in which smaller Chinese brands gained ground on the larger, more established brands. Over the last six years, China’s 30 largest brands have come to represent a smaller proportion of the Top 100’s total value. This signals China’s emergence as a major brand landscape and as the ranking is rebalanced, China’s extensive showing of strong brands now features multiple category competitors, rather than a single dominant name.
Category picture remains stable
Media and Entertainment (26% share of total brand value) is once again the largest category in the Kantar BrandZ China Top 100, followed by Retail (16%) and Alcohol (12%). Taken together, these three categories account for just over half of the total value of the China Top 100 ranking.
Out of the 20 categories that were covered by both 2021 and 2022 China BrandZ rankings, five increased their total value year-on-year: Cars, Apparel, IoT Ecosystem, Energy and Telecom Providers.
The value of intelligent insights
Brands that continue to advertise intelligently, particularly during challenging times, tend to overperform compared to those that are inclined to cut back or suspend their brand-building activities. The rise of performance advertising led some Chinese brand managers to feel as if they had no choice but to prioritise short-term sales activations over long-term brand-building. However, it is possible to do both - provided that brands have the right data and insights at hand while navigating the dynamic world of Chinese e-commerce, which has grown to encompass new formats like live streaming, community group buying, and private-channel O2O storefronts. Successful brands must also continually strive to gain an accurate picture of their own strengths and weaknesses in consumers’ eyes.
Other key highlights from the analysis include:
- A rise in global exposure – 47 brands in the China Top 100 are building their value outside of China, which is an all-time high, up from just 40 brands in 2021. Consumer technology brand TCL (No.94, $1.8bn) has been planning and investing in top-level sports for years. TCL has signed endorsement contracts with FIBA, Copa América, and several international sports stars. Chinese brands’ global exposure is steadily improving over a period of time and overall, the Top 100 brands’ overseas operations contribute 8.8% to their business.
- Better at meta – China is well poised to take advantage of the emerging metaverse as research labs invest in 3D sound, haptic and body sensor technologies. Within the parameters of data protection and national regulations, there appear to be plenty of growth opportunities. Chinese consumers have already embraced innovations like virtual influencers and digital collectibles, as well as immersive online showrooms and experiences.
- Responsibility towards mental health – The stresses of the COVID-19 pandemic brought mental health to the forefront, especially in cities experiencing lockdowns. As digital brands work to safeguard users’ mental health as part of their larger responsibility toward social harmony, all brands should aim to incorporate mental well-being into their core value propositions as consumers look for emotional security in addition to functional performance.
- Holistic approach towards sustainability – Key measures ofsustainability are now three times more important to a brand’s overall positive reputation than they were a decade ago. Consumer responses to advertisements carrying sustainability messages suggest that Chinese consumers have an innate desire to connect with the natural world. Chinese brands can help consumers worldwide to turn good intentions into even better actions. It all starts with cultural intelligence.
- A closer community – Chinese consumers have become prouder of, and more attached to, their local communities. During city-by-city lockdowns in 2020 and 2022, many urban residents came together to order groceries, care for the elderly, and support school-aged children. This provides continuing opportunities for brands operating in the areas of community group buying, and small-format neighbourhood stores, and has major implications for brands’ sustainability and purpose-driven initiatives.
The 2022 Kantar BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Chinese Brands ranking, report and extensive analysis are available now at www.kantar.com/campaigns/brandz/china
* VUCA stands for Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity
NOTES TO EDITORS
About Kantar BrandZ: Kantar BrandZ is the global currency when assessing brand value, quantifying the contribution of brands to business’ financial performance. Kantar’s annual global and local brand valuation rankings combine rigorously analysed financial data, with extensive brand equity research. Since 1998, BrandZ has shared brand-building insights with business leaders based on interviews with 4.1 million consumers, for 19,250 brands in 51 markets. Discover more about Kantar BrandZ here.
Grounded in consumer opinion, Kantar BrandZ analysis enables businesses to identify their brand’s strength in the market and provides clear strategic guidance on how to boost value for the long-term.
Kantar’s BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Chinese Brands is the most definitive and robust ranking of the country’s brands available, and thebrands ranked must meet these eligibility criteria:
- The brand was originally created in Mainland China.
- The brand is owned by a publicly traded enterprise, or financials of the company owning the brand are audited by a major global accounting practice and published in the public domain.
- Chinese unicorn brands must have their most recent valuation publicly available
About Kantar: Kantar is the world’s leading marketing data and analytics company. We have a complete, unique and rounded understanding of how people think, feel and act; globally and locally in over 90 markets. By combining the deep expertise of our people, our data resources and benchmarks and our innovative analytics and technology, we help our clients understand people and inspire growth.
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