Top 20 Risers: Robust growth rate crosses categories
Two entertainment brands more than double in value
The Top 20 Risers, brands that increased most in value year-on-year, and the nine categories they represent, reflect the dynamics shaping the Chinese market, which include: the explosive growth of entertainment, the priority assigned to education, the dominance of New Retail, and the ongoing preference for premium products and services.
Leading the Top 20 Risers, iQiyi and Youku, increased in value 158 percent and 136 percent. Both brands appeared in the China BrandZ™ Top 100 last year in the technology category and were moved this year to the just-added entertainment category.
iOiyi was spun off from the search giant Baidu, which remains a major stakeholder. The online streaming site has expanded its audience with original content. A subsidiary of Alibaba since it was acquired in 2016, Youku is part of an effort to attain market leadership in the distribution of family entertainment and international content.
The 91 percent year-on-year increase in value for Xueersi followed a 139 percent rise a year ago when the education brand led the list of Top 20 Risers. The consistent rapid growth reflects both the overall strength of education in China as a cultural value and government priority, and the specific strengths and brand-building efforts of Xueersi, which operates both physical learning centers and has expanded its online presence.
Of the nine categories represented by the Top 20 Risers, Alcohol dominates with six brands, including five makers of baijiu, the traditional Chinese white alcohol, and Snow Beer. The baijiu brands, often positioned at the premium end of the market, have recently expanded their appeal. These brands include Wu Liang Ye, Moutai, Yanghe, National Cellar 1573, and Gujing Gong Jiu. Snow Beer, like other Chinese brewers, also marketed more premium offerings.
The two retail brands among the Top 20 Risers, Alibaba and JD fortified their leading positions as leaders in the rapid and convenient delivery of products and services by leveraging customer data and state-of-the-art logistics to create a seamless online/offline experience. Both Alibaba and JD entered new partnerships. Alibaba introduced programs to help brands on its sites become better marketers.
Despite the economic slowdown and regulatory moves by the Chinese government to moderate housing development to avoid oversupply, four real estate brands—Evergrande, Poly Real Estate, Country Garden and Longfor— rank in the Top 20 Risers, indicating the power of these brands to grow even during challenging market conditions, and their ability to control costs and find new growth opportunities, such as constructing facilities for older citizens and cultural centers to support the booming tourism industry.
Benefiting from the strength of tourism, the Hanting Hotel brand appeared in the Top 20 Risers, growing 58 percent year-on-year in brand value, which followed a 50 percent increase a year ago when Hanting also ranked in the Top 20 Risers. The appearance of two home appliance brands, Gree and Supor, also indicate the ability of strong brands to grow, despite weakness in the real estate sector. Both Gree and Supor appeared in the Top 20 Risers a year ago.
Similarly, ZTO Express grew in value, although the logistics category declined overall. Alibaba and Cainiao Network, its logistics business, purchased a stake in ZTO Express. And the technology brand Huawei increased 48 percent in value on the strength of its telecommunications equipment and smartphone business, despite geopolitical pressures.