Tue, Dec 28, 2004 - Page 11 News List

Nike tops the brand list: survey

LOYAL CUSTOMERS An annual survey of consumers' `share of mind' found that companies that brand themselves successfully continue to enjoy customer support

By Amber Chung  /  STAFF REPORTER

Nike Inc seemed to have experienced no harm to its brand name despite basketball superstar Michael Jordan's controversial fleeting endorsment appearance in May, a Chinese-language business monthly reported yesterday, saying that Nike remains the No. 1 sports brand among local consumers.

Given its strong brand image and reputation, Nike led the nation's sports shoe segment with an overwhelming share of 61.4 percent, leaving Adidas, which took second place with only 10.1 percent, far behind, according to a "share of mind" survey.

The annual survey polled 1,153 people between 25 and 65 years of age across the nation between Oct. 1 and Nov. 30.

"The result showed that Nike enjoyed significantly high consumer brand loyalty, which the company has cultivated through successful branding," Horng Shun-ching (洪順慶), a professor in marketing at National Chengchi University, said at a press conference yesterday.

This showed the importance of brand build-up, the pundit said.

The survey of the top brands occupying consumers' minds was first conducted 20 years ago. This year, the survey covered brands in 103 industries, including services, food, home appliances and high-tech products.

"Consumers usually do not purchase brands they hardly know or remember," said Frank Hung (洪良浩), publisher of Marketing.

A ranking of brands according to customers' intuitional respon-ses gives insight into each brand's position in consumers' minds, Hung said.

Starbucks, for instance, led the coffee-chains section as the No. 1 ideal brand with an unrivaled 58 percent, leaving its competitors, Barista Coffee with 5.1 percent and IS Coffee with 4.3 percent, lagging far behind.

IBM took 22.5 percent of support as the nation's most ideal laptop brand, followed by Asus with 21.6 percent and Acer with 18.6 percent, the survey showed.

However, Big Blue's sale of its personal-computer unit to China's Lenovo Group last month is said to be likely to cast a shadow on its brand image, which in turn may decrease its brand value.

"Brand cannot be separated from quality," Horng said, adding that its especially the case where quality is a brand's core strength.

As people still hold the rigid perception that China is not competent enough to manufacture high-end products, "the US IBM and the Chinese IBM mean totally different things to consumers," he said.

This speculation on the part of the public is likely to erode IBM's brand value, Horng said.

IBM is the world's third most valuable brand with its brand value assessed at US$53.79 billion this year, after Coca Cola's US$67.39 billion and Microsoft's US$61.37 billion, according to figures by international brand-consultancy firm Interbrand Corp.

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