Study finds Alipay, Huawei, Android and DJI as the Most Relevant


Shanghai, Hong Kong, 19 September 2019 – Prophet, a global consultancy, announced the results of the fourth annual 2019 Prophet Brand Relevance IndexTM (BRI) today in Shanghai. In a constantly changing macroeconomic environment, Chinese brands continue to show steady growth. Chinese consumers are increasingly sophisticated and pragmatic. Additionally, tech-savvy consumers are on the rise, and are looking for multi-dimensional ways to experience the brands with which they are engaging.

The BRI is currently the only brand ranking in the world to have been generated from direct consumer feedback, which uncovers critical differences and insights for brands’ development and innovation. The 2019 Index incorporates brand evaluations from over 13,000 Chinese consumers, across 250 brands from around 30 industries. According to the 2019 results, the top 10 most relevant brands rated by consumers are:

  1. Alipay
  2. Huawei
  3. Android
  4. DJI
  5. WeChat
  6. Bilibili
  7. Xiaomi
  8. China CITIC Bank
  9. Intel
  10. Audi

“The importance of brand relevance is indisputable,” said Leon Zhang, partner at Prophet. “Without relevance to consumers, brands are just names, which can soon be forgotten. Through this year’s BRI, we continue to gain insights into key factors fundamental to building brand relevance. For both home-grown and international brands, only those that continue to demonstrate leadership in building brand relevance can win support and loyalty from consumers.”

The 2019 China BRI revealed five trends among brands:

Amplified National Pride – Chinese consumers are eager to demonstrate support for local brands that stand tall on the global stage. As national brands continue to show world-class innovation while revitalizing Chinese heritage, Chinese consumers are more supportive than ever. One of the most striking findings in our Index is the surge of Huawei, DJI and Li-Ning, which all made it into the top 50.  

Enduring Pragmatism – Chinese consumers remain attracted to international companies whose brands continue to deepen their roles in Chinese consumers’ daily lives. In 2019, international brands secured 25 of the top 50 spots in the ranking, as compared to 20 in 2018. Brands like Android, Microsoft and Intel are all ranked in the top 25 this year.

High Tech, Higher Touch – Chinese consumers have always been passionate about technology, but now they are looking for technology-driven experiences that make their lives more convenient, rich and fun. The best examples in this year’s BRI include Huawei, Nio and Haier.

From Aspiration to Reality – Fast advancement of infrastructure and internet have enhanced brands’ penetration into lower-tier cities. Consumers in these cities are demonstrating impressive purchasing power as they evolve from followers to trend-setters and expect higher quality products and services to meet their needs. As a result, brands seeking to grow in the lower-tier market need to adapt their business models and go-to-market strategies to better integrate into the local lifestyle.

Winning Experiences – Successful brands know how to integrate the physical, digital and emotional to create multi-dimensional experiences that customers find both remarkable and rewarding. These experiences can be either online or offline, as provided by Taobao and Nio; and can also be experienced through an extension of the brand or category, as practiced by NetEase Cloud Music and Westin.

“The China Brand Relevance Index has cemented the idea of consumer-led, showing changes in the needs of Chinese consumers and the role that brands play in their lives,” said Feifei Xu, associate partner at Prophet. “The insights we uncover form the foundation of a brand’s path forward, promoting its relevance to consumers in the Chinese market.”

About BRI 2019

The Prophet Brand Relevance IndexTM is released every year in China, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States. This year, Prophet surveyed more than 50,000 consumers and approximately 700 brands, across the U.S., the UK, Germany and China. In the 2019 BRI study, Prophet partnered with Dynata, the world’s leading global provider of first-party consumer and professional data.

In China, Prophet surveyed more than 13,000 consumers regarding more than 250 brands across close to 30 industries in 2019. Each participating consumer rated up to five brands within a single category on 16 different attributes that correspond to the four principles of relevance Prophet identified. To rate a brand, a consumer had to be a brand user or was considering to use the brand in the near future.

To learn more about China BRI 2019, please view the dedicated report microsite or refer to the attached report.

About Prophet

Prophet is a consultancy that helps clients unlock uncommon growth by developing new business models, reimagining brands and experiences, driving demand and customer engagement and empowering people to transform their organizations. The largest privately-owned firm of its kind, Prophet brings a unique blend of creative and strategy to identify paths to purposeful, transformative and sustainable growth.

Based in San Francisco, with 12 global offices and more than 500 strategists, data analysts, marketers, digital experts and creatives, Prophet has worked with the world’s most successful companies, including BOE, Mei One, Midea, ABInbev, AXA, Samsung and Marriott, partnering with them from ideation to in-market execution.