Samsung Still Stands at No. 1 in Asia’s Brand Ranking; Apple Slips to No. 3 Spot

Despite losing US lawsuits to Apple over patent infringements and other copycat charges, Samsung still stands at number one in Asia’s Top 1000 Brands report released by Campaign Asia-Pacific in collaboration with Nielsen.  

The US courts have not seemed to tarnish the company’s image in Asia. Is it just because the phones have bigger screens? Or is it because Samsung outspends Apple (and any other single brand) on advertising? Or could it be that the out-of-pocket cost is simply less for consumers? There are a lot of factors that go into any purchase but brand trust is certainly a major part of it – and Campaign’s study shows, without question, Asia trusts Samsung.

“Samsung’s hold on the top spot can be attributed to a combination of ingredients,” said Jason Wincuinas, Managing Editor at Campaign Asia-Pacific. “Part of any company’s marketing is of course the product itself; customer experience trumps everything.

"So a brand needs to gauge the market right, communicate its value effectively and then deliver on that promise. It’s harder than it sounds and getting it just right is what puts a brand on top. But all the names on our list have made a significant impression on Asia’s consumers.”

Across the region, Samsung claimed the top spot in eight of the 13 markets covered, while it sat within the top 10 in all other countries except Japan.

Also important to note for 2014 – five of the top 10 brands are smartphone makers.

And while five years ago nine of the top 10 were electronics names, this year three of the top 10 are fashion-related brands; possibly reflecting Asia's changing consumption attitudes as well as burgeoning affluence.

“The consumer electronics, retail, media and telecommunications brands continued to lead the way in this year’s rankings, however, this year we are seeing a number of brands within the digital space gain traction, as well as premium and luxury brands,” notes Vishal Bali, Nielsen’s Managing Director of Consumer Insights in Southeast Asia, North Asia and Pacific.

“The progress of digital brands is a strong indicator of the extent to which digital media is taking off across the region, while the rise of premium and luxury brands can be attributed to changing consumer aspirations, particularly middle class consumers who are looking for brands which convey their rising social status.”

Apple slipped from the No.2 spot to No.3, letting Sony retake second place. Lenovo vaulted into the top 100 for the first time, jumping from 120 to 78. Sinopec entered the charts for the first time at number 999.

Singapore Airlines fell out of the top 100, from 96 down to 116 and many of Asia's Airlines suffered overall in the ranking – with the exception of Indonesian airline Garuda, which seems to have repaired its image to some degree, rising from 965 to land at the 545 spot.

Luxury made a big play overall in Asia's Top 1000 – names like Rolls Royce, The Peninsula and Hermes all jumped 40 places or more. Also, high-end motorcycle brand Ducati powered nearly 100 spots up from 409 to 312.

The report incorporates consumers in 13 key regional markets across Asia-Pacific: Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.

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