Last year, Hong Kong’s Top 100 Brands list remained broadly stable. However, in 2021, the top 100 some of our research on the top 1000 brands in Asia has seen dramatic changes. At least 17 new entrants have entered Hong Kong’s top 100 this year.
Although the top five remains relatively stable, three brands (Nestle, Watsons and Meiji) fell out of the top 10, replaced by Google, Johnson & Johnson and Nike.
Among the top 10, Samsung, number one overall Asia’s 1000 best brands list tops Hong Kong’s charts again this year and Panasonic beats Apple for second place. Sony and Chanel are in the same places, fourth and fifth, for the third consecutive year. Hitachi and Philips advanced, while Nestlé and Meiji fell slightly to 13th (-7) and 14th (-4) respectively.
Watsons made the biggest drop in the top rung of the list, dropping 12 spots to 20th place. This reflects the brand’s performance in the global list of 1000 best brands in Asia, where it dropped from 34th to 68th, its worst ranking since 2013. Under Watsons parent company Hutchison Whampoa, ParknShop, another retail brand, retained the same ranking (47th) this year.
Meanwhile, the brands under Dairy Farm, renamed DFI Retail Group this year, grew rapidly: Manning’s climbed 32 places to 21st, Wellcome climbed from 10 to 48th, 7-Eleven increased from 10 to 39th, Maxims climbed from 11 to 81st and Ikea Hong Kong climbed from four to 17th. The ranking of the parent company, Dairy Farm, fell to 112th (-22).
SK-II targeted campaigns appeared to work well in Hong Kong and throughout the Greater China region; the brand climbed 53 positions to 91st this year in Hong Kong, echoing its rise from 30 places to 90th on Mainland China’s Top 100 list.
When it comes to financial services, while HSBC (15th, +2) and Bank of China (92nd, +43) improved, Standard Chartered Bank and Hang Seng Bank came out of the top 100.
Coca-Cola brands fell sharply: Coca-Cola itself fell from 12th to 41st and Bonaqua fell out of the top 100.
Digital transformation on mobile
Many brands have been forced to undergo an accelerated digital transformation due to the pandemic. From improving the customer experience on mobile apps to promoting membership programs, McDonald’s Hong Kong, which moved up nine spots to 34th, and Starbucks Hong Kong (18th to 12th) stood out. from other restaurant chains.
McDonald’s Hong Kong relaunched its mobile app last year and attracted more than 2 million people to Hong Kong to sign up. With the mobile app as its sole channel, McDonald’s has also launched numerous campaigns, including the BTS meal.
In addition, the click-and-collect function of the mobile applications has accelerated the digitalization process of the two brands.
Over the past two years, Starbucks has not only frequently launched marketing campaigns on its mobile app, but has also promoted more localized food and beverage selections, providing a more unique customer experience.
Royce Yuen, co-CEO of MaLogic and visiting associate professor at the University of Hong Kong Business School, analyzed Starbucks’ “magical transformation” from two perspectives. First, Starbucks “is a brand recognized as truly international, but it seizes every opportunity to immerse itself in the local community”. He mentions special holiday foods like moon cakes and coffee and tea specials invented by the people of Hong Kong. “Hong Kong is the only place in the world where you can order a cup of Yinyeung, which is the local favorite for mixing coffee with English tea,” says Yuen. Second, Starbucks “is a brand that gives you a physical boost (with the caffeine in coffee) and also a mental boost (the emotional feeling of refreshment),” Yuen adds.
Delivery apps and the pandemic have fundamentally changed the situation for the restaurant and catering industry. Big brands have created their own mobile apps for online ordering. More and more restaurants are joining food delivery networks.
Deliveroo (27th) and Foodpanda (28th), joined for the first time the list of the 100 best brands of Hong Kong. While this is due to the fact that we have added a category for delivery services for the first time, the breakthroughs of both brands in Hong Kong are undeniable. The two localized their strategies, working closely with local restaurants and grocery suppliers in Hong Kong to win the hearts of consumers. Uber Eats, another food delivery app, ranks 147th. All of them have launched localization campaigns in Hong Kong over the past year.
Social networks transform the brand image
Some social media apps are on the rise (WeChat, 9th to 29th and Instagram, 21st to 72nd) while others are down (WhatsApp, 10th to 35th and Facebook, 43rd to 82nd).
All of these social media apps are now evolving from personal sharing platforms to powerful social media marketing tools, providing potential opportunities for marketers in the near future.
When it comes to social media marketing, Yuen notes that marketers “have to embrace a new way of presenting their brands in a much more natural setting so that consumers are willing to embrace brands. It will require a new way of storytelling that is authentic, engaging, ambitious and entertaining. “
Experienced online play exponential growth in most parts of the world. Part of the reason could be attributed to the game’s community contribution and genuine marketing from content creators to KOLs.
For the Hong Kong market, video game, game console and streaming media brands, such as Sony Playstation (63, + 38), Nintendo Switch (76, + 51), Netflix (77, +39), have gained places due to lockdown, travel restrictions and social media distancing after the pandemic.