The 2015 China Brand Power Index, or the C-BPI, consumer survey result was released by Chnbrand, an institution that is funded by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology and is considered China’s most reliable brand evaluation organization.
The C-BPI is a non-biased yearly research report based on consumer responses since its initial launch in 2011. The index system is made to assess buying behaviors and help consumers make informed purchasing decisions as well as enterprises establish their own brand management mechanisms.
The 2015 C-BPI research covers 30 cities across the country and examines brand awareness and loyalty by sector and category, including feedback from residents aged 15 to 60. Researchers collected 11,500 responses through face-to-face interviews at interviewees’ homes from Oct 1, 2014 to Feb 28, 2015.
The number of researched sectors increased from 105 in 2011 to 158 this year with more than 7,800 major brands surveyed. This year’s C-BPI results included in-depth analysis of the major new features and development trends of brands in China, advice on brand management and strategy for companies and recommended buying options for consumers. (Official website: www.chnbrand.org/c-bpi )
Top brands by region
This year, among the top brands in 158 product sectors surveyed, 107 brands, or 68 percent, were China-originated brands. This was 3 percentage points higher than that of last year. Among these, those from Guangdong accounted for 25 percent, followed by Beijing and Shanghai with 21 percent and 10 percent respectively.
Among the 51 international brands, 55 percent were from the United States, up 3 percent from last year. Germany, South Korea and Japan followed, each with four brands at the top of the lists. In the service sector, 85 percent of the top brands were Chinese. Although the rates dropped in the past two years, Chinese brands still have overwhelming advantages.
In the fast-moving consumer goods and durable goods categories, the proportion of Chinese brands that stood in first place increased by 4 and 10 percentage points respectively, showing better competitiveness.
Further in the fast-moving consumer goods category, 72 percent of the top brands in the lifestyle goods sector were international brands. Chinese brands accounted for the largest parts in the top brands for beverage, pharmaceuticals or healthcare sectors, 86 percent and 83 percent respectively. Representative brands included Jiaduobao (herbal tea), Snow Beer (beer) and Yunnan Baiyao (adhesive bandages).
In the durable goods category, Chinese brands performed well in electronic appliances, telecommunications and household goods. In the automobile/electrombile sector, 75 percent of the top brands were international. Representative brands included Beijing Hyundai (cars), Audi (luxury cars) and Michelin (auto tires).
Among the 46 categories in the service industry, Chinese brands held strong places in financial and Internet services. In wholesale and retail and general service sectors, Chinese brands occupied leading positions, including Sinopec (gas station), PingAn insurance (property, life and auto insurance), Tencent Games (large online game operators), Ctrip (online tourism service website), Hosa (fitness clubs), CYTS (travel agencies) and HomeInns (express hotels).
In the 92 sectors that the yearly C-BPI examined during the past five years, 53 brands, or 58 percent, held their No 1 places successively.
These brands that enjoy consumer trust represent what the fast-changing Chinese market demands, which are recognized as 2015 C-BPI “Golden Brands”. They included 30 Golden Brands in the consumer goods category, with Bluemoon (liquid soap and laundry detergent), Great Wall (engine oil and lubricant oil) and Mengniu (yogurt) showing strong brand loyalty from Chinese consumers.
In the durable goods category, there were 13 Golden Brands including Galanz (microwave ovens) and Michelin (auto tires).
In the service industry, 10 Golden Brands like PingAn (car insurance), Yonghe King (Chinese fast food restaurant chains) and SINA (portal websites) dominated the leading places for five years.
The 2015 C-BPI survey report made in-depth analysis on the gap between the first and second ranked brands to judge the competitive edge. A 100+ point gap between the first and second places means very “sharp” competitive edge, a 50 to 100 point gap, means “modest” and below 50 points, the “weak”.
In the 2015 C-BPI, the competition among top brands is getting fierce. The proportion of top brands with a sharp competitive edge dropped by a significant 18 percentage points, while the “weak” increased 22 percentage points.
Among the 103 top brands of 2014 C-BPI and 2015 C-BPI results, 41 brands, or 40 percent, ranked top of both lists, including Haitian (soy sauce), Huiyuan (100% pure fruit juice), Johnson & Johnson (baby/children’s soaps/lotion), LOCK&LOCK (crisper/stainless steel utensils/vacuum containers), Lenovo (desktop computers), China Mobile (communication services) and China Auto Rental (car rental chains).
It is worth mentioning that 22 brands, or 21 percent, ranked as strongly competitive last year became weaker this year, including Aima (electronic bicycles), Joyoung (juice extractors), Lenovo (notebook computers), Philips (vacuum cleaner and electric razor), Pampers (infant diaper/nappy), Alpenliebe (candies) and KFC (Western-style fast food restaurant chains).
These brands are advised to take efficient and precise measures to curb the downward trend and invest more in brand management to meet the challenges from competitors.
In the past two years, there were 37 top brands, 36 percent of the total, suffered from weak competitiveness including Samsung (color televisions), Nippon Paint (wood paint) and the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (banking services). And, three brands have improved from weak to strong－Septwolves (men’s business casual), Midea (humidifier) and Starbucks (chain cafes).
The C-BPI report also showed that a few brands took dominant positions with a very large point gap, including Nestle (instant coffee), Baidu (search engine) and Alipay (third-party online payment).
Meanwhile, some top brands stood very close to the second, including TOTO (wash-out type water closet), Daziran (mattresses), Haidilao (Chinese-food restaurant chains) and Pedigree (dog/cat food). These brands should put larger stress on brand management and brand power improvement to maintain leading edges with better services for customers.
The 2015 C-BPI survey discovered that some brands saw a sharp turnaround, which led to a position reshuffle or the replacement of the No 1 position.
In the 148 sectors researched in the past two years, 45 sectors saw top brand turnaround, accounting for 30 percent, a staggering number compared with the previous highest 17 percent.
For example, Changyu wine overtook competitor Great Wall in 2015, which had been in the lead for four years though had gradually decreased. There were similar cases in other sectors, for instance, Dulux overtook Nippon Paint (wall paint), BORCCI over OPPEIN (integrated kitchen) and Lenovo over Samsung (monitors).
It means the sustainable management of brand building and a comprehensive campaign were crucial and companies should not ignore the potential loss brought by brand incompetence.
Persistence in brand building is key to stabilize the leadership, the 2015 C-BPI report suggested.
A branding campaign should be consistently carried out based on the changes in business climate, marketing channels and media environment.
The C-BPI has provided many Chinese and international companies with a standard, scientific and sustainable brand monitoring and evaluating system and their data and index have proven to be a vital management tool.
Apart from producing the benchmark－the annual C-BPI result, Chnbrand also provides solutions to help companies sustain leading positions. As consumers are very confused in this fast-changing branding world, the C-BPI is a fair, authoritative survey that represents the voice of consumers and helps them make right decisions.
Besides C-BPI official website, Chnbrand will publish more in-depth analysis and reports of hot sectors online.
For more information, visit www.chn-brand.org, www.chn-brand.org/c-bpi or contact 86-10-62250811. The publication of graphics and charts from the C-BPI reports should be authorized with Chnbrand’s official confirmation letter. All research information is not allowed to be used for advertisement and marketing purposes.