With the Chinese blogosphere awash with news on inspiring female stories after International Women’s Day, YouGov BrandIndex has announced the top ten most popular brands amongst Chinese women
Chinese Women Market
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Chanel, WeChat and Dove had the highest Women’s impression scores in China, outperforming rivals such as Alipay and Tmall. The top brand list is dominated by fashion brands (Chanel & Nike), e-commerce platforms (Tmall & JD) and internet brands such as WeChat or QQ.
The rankings are calculated based on ‘impression scores’ for each brand among women respondents for a 12 month period through to January 2017. The scores are measured by asking a simple question; ‘Do you have a positive or negative feeling about the brand?’.
Chinese women are high value consumers on the global stage who are shaping wider global trends in fashion, cosmetics, e-commerce outlets and how online platforms communicate with them.
Chanel boasted the highest impression score with 52.6 underscoring their enduring popularity in China. The brand is strongly associated with quality and a sense of international luxury; all connotations that strongly appeal to the
modern, middle-class female consumer
The demand for quality, international products amongst women in China shows no signs of stopping. In a market famously associated with fakes, there has been a strong backlash by a new wave of the middle class, discerning buyers who will pay a premium for the genuine article.
Chanel has over time built their reputation as the most enduring, quality brand for women. Their marketing has always been tailored brilliantly for the market where they sell this ‘international lifestyle’ through their product range. In a culture fixed on status and reputation the Chinese only buy brands, this is illustrated by the number of global brands on the list as well as the e-commerce platforms which sell them.
Tmall is chasing Female shoppers
Tmall is the flagship platform of Alibaba and sells quality brands to middle-class consumers. To guarantee this authenticity brands host ‘stores’ on the website themselves, the site has even launched a dedicated international branch for cross-border e-commerce in Mainland. JD similarly offer a similar value proposition but focus more on appliances and the technology niche. Tmall had a 42.9 score whilst JD as a smaller e-retail site had 39.5.
Lastly, it’s important to note the presence of WeChat and QQ, two of Tencent’s social networks. WeChat with an impressive score of 49.2 now boasts over 850 million active users and is essential to any study in China, it is the main source of communication now. In the context of this report WeChat also now host stores within the application itself. These micro stores facilitate ease of payment and sale as they are connected with a users e-wallet with instant access to their banking funds.
QQ is popular amongst women as an instant messaging platform, akin to Whatsapp. Large communities of groups on QQ regularly share content and information, it as an important part of the online social structure in China.
Branding & e-Commerce are important
Survey’s like this should always be taken with a pinch of salt but this does serve to emphasize the importance of brands as well as the branding of e-commerce platforms and social media. It is also indicative of the growing trend towards ‘social commerce’ whereby Chinese social media has become a conduit for online retail, the lines are being blurred and the trust users place in Chinese platforms to display and deliver quality products such as Chanel is important to note.
The take home message is that women do not view the brands and the platforms they use for purchase as wholly different entities. This is because Chinese e-retail platforms generate a strong sense of loyalty. Alibaba, in particular, has huge market dominance with 80% of the e-commerce market.
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