Google and Apple lead Asia’s ‘most authentic’ brand rankings, while Huawei rings true in China

Global technology companies such as Google and Apple have dominated this year’s rankings of the “most authentic” brands in Asia, according to an annual report by Cohn & Wolfe.

The WPP agency surveyed 15,000 people in 15 global markets, factoring in brands’ ability to be “reliable, respectful and real” – and therefore “authentic” when interacting with consumers.

In particular, the agency looked at areas such as acting with integrity at all times, using high-quality ingredients and components, whether the brand delivers on promises and whether it treats customers well.

In Asia, Google was found to be regarded the highest among consumers, taking top three positions in four different markets. Closer to home in Singapore, Apple knocked Singapore Airlines from its former top spot down to fourth place, while the bank DBS and Google took second and third places respectively.

The Silicon Valley giants took the top two positions in Hong Kong, followed by Swedish furniture chain Ikea.

In India, Google claimed the number one position, with Microsoft and Amazon ranked second and third. Apple took fifth place behind Maruti Suzuki in fourth. The search engine also took second place behind Bank Rakyat Indonesia in that market.

Meanwhile in China, Huawei was said to be regarded as the most authentic brand with consumers, ahead of HP and the Bank of China.

The full results for Asia-Pacific can be viewed here, with top 10s for each market surveyed shown in the table below. 

Elsewhere, the report also found that 68 percent of Chinese consumers indicated higher purchase intent with brands they perceive to be “authentic”, compared to 67 percent in India and Indonesia. The global average hangs at 62 percent.

Chinese consumers were also shown to have more faith in the brands they purchased from, with 43 per cent saying they found companies to be “open and honest”, while almost half  said that brands “take full responsibility for their actions”.

This posed a stark contrast to the global average of 25 percent. European consumers displayed considerably more cynicism, with the belief that brands are “open and honest” hanging in the single digits across Sweden, France and Germany.

“In Asia, consumers value authenticity and will reward brands that work on being reliable, respectful and real – the three main drivers of brand authenticity,” said Matt Stafford, president of APAC at Cohn & Wolfe.

“Our study highlights the opportunity for brands operating in Asia, as consumers in China, India and other key regional markets clearly recognise and appreciate efforts by companies to build strong customer relationships and improved user experiences.”


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