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As perceptions change, more Chinese brands achieve global stature

But growth requires greater market insight and access

By Scot Beaumont Vice President Google

This change has been driven by the efforts of Chinese companies to innovate and evolve, and reinforced by the speed of their execution. Young people also influenced the change. Millennials and post- millennials tend to associate Chinese brands with cutting edge mobile devices and games, and they influence the preconceptions of their parents and grandparents regarding Chinese products.

Indeed, the rapid pace at which Chinese companies are evolving becomes a key competitive advantage in the global marketplace. This change, often driven by technology companies,
is reflected in the brands ranked in this report’s BrandZ™ ranking. The Top 3 brands – Lenovo, Huawei, and Alibaba – defied old perceptions of Chinese products and brands to establish themselves as global leaders. Lenovo, for example, derives derives over 70 percent of its annual revenue from outside of China.

The brands featured in the c-suite interviews in this section of the report also illustrate this transformation of Chinese brands. The consumer electronics brand TCL, for example, derives almost half of its revenue from its business in over 160 countries beyond China. Established only five years ago, Ninebot has become a world leader in short-distance transportation vehicles like self-balancing scooters.

These brands are still exceptions, however. As the research in this report reveals, most Chinese brands are still relatively unknown outside of China. Although Chinese brands overall have improved in quality, they have not yet enjoyed the full commercial bene t of that improvement. The need to raise awareness becomes especially important as Chinese brands expand beyond nearby Asian markets.

Some Chinese brands have enjoyed success in the developed markets
of Europe and North America, but consumer awareness of Chinese brands and their willingness to consider them varies by country. And building on these early successes will require extensive market knowledge and insight along with access to the right audiences at the right time.

Google can partner on the global journey
Whether you are a Chinese airline targeting South Africa, a retailer expanding into Eastern Europe, or a developer looking to connect with a global audience for your latest app – Google can be a partner on the entire journey, and in many ways. Our digital marketing platform and expertise, for example, is there to make the task easier and more effective.

Our Search and Display Network has global reach and allows brands to identify and target their customers at the right time, in the right way, throughout all stages
of their decision funnel. Tools like Google Trends, Global Market Finder, and Consumer Barometer are there to help you discover trends and gain insights about consumer habits and preferences. Google’s web analytics and data measurement tools help to identify the role and importance of di erent platforms and devices, while YouTube is an essential platform to establish a strong brand identity in a new market.

And Google’s support goes beyond marketing strategy and implementation: we partner with companies in all stages of their global expansion. A typical pain point for Chinese companies is to fully internationalize and adapt to local consumers expectations, so we leverage our global teams as well as our strengths in machine learning to solve complex issues like localization. It’s fantastic to see how companies like Elex, the successful gaming brand, use our translation tools (Google Translate, Translator Toolkit) to reach consumers across language barriers and allow for true global interaction.

In addition, our export partnership teams work hard to set up localization, payment, and customer care consultations, as well as connection to trusted in-market partners. Google further provides deep market, competitor and consumer insights, and can help prioritize new opportunities, find ways to strengthen an existing market presence and bridge cultural divides to establish a brand that’s understood and truly aspired to by the target audience.

Though there’s still a long way to go, it’s fantastic to see how more and more Chinese brands are opening new doors and creating global brand identities, and increasingly wearing their heritage with pride rather than something to shy away from. Some players even emphasize their “Chineseness” through quirky features on their websites and unique offerings in their product portfolios.
At Google, we’re excited to be part of this transformational journey, and to partner with Chinese brands in the implementation of their globalization strategies.
For further information, please contact: cn-export@google.com