Brand Leaders in Japan (Brand Japan 2013 survey results)

By on May 3, 2013

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Japan has always been a tough place for global brands to make inroads. Many leading global brands have struggled hard to become relevant (and very few have had success). Prominent brands like Samsung, Singapore Airlines, Citibank, DHL, IBM, Nokia, Ariel etc., have not been making it to the top half list of the consumer surveys for several years now. And even long standing brands like Mercedes-Benz and BMW don’t get to the top 100/ 200 ranks. Interestingly, neither do facebook nor twitter make the cut – while both have become sensations everywhere else on planet earth. Reasons are typically traced to visibility, scale and relevance, for brands in Japan have always been driven by energetic visibility and ubiquity.

Every year Brand Japan conducts an appraisal of leading Japanese brands on brand equity and publishes a ranking table indexed to an algorithm of total brand power. The survey which is the largest brand survey in Japan, has two parts (1) BtoC category and (2) BtoB category evaluation, in which both consumers and business people participate

The BtoC survey evaluates (perspectives of 1000) brands on 4 key properties namely Friendly, Convenient, Outstanding and Innovative. And the B2B survey evaluates (perspectives of 500) brands on 6 key properties, namely: Foresight, Human Resources, Trustworthiness, Familiarity, Vigor and Other Imagery. Many leading brand motivated folks from around the globe track this annual ranking event and dwell deep into the results of this survey, to uncover adaptable learning’s and new insights. The 2013 survey data has recently been released and it again provides remarkable insights into the very basics of brand building in Japan, and why some brands always keep winning.

Consumer Segment (from the 1000 brands surveyed): Apple continues to be at no 1, consolidating its 2012 position. Recall it was at 11th position in 2011. Also Apple leads the pack remarkably, maintaining a significant lead over Google, which continues to remain at number 2 rank. iPhone has moved to number 18 slot, ensuring Apple has four of the top 40 brands (with iPod and iPad having got displaced from top 20).  Apple’s leadership status is attributed more to innovation and outstanding factors.

Top 5  BtoC Brands:

     1. Apple

     2. Google

     2. UNIQLO

     4. You Tube

     5. Studio GHIBLI

 

  • Overall Tech brand scored high on the “used recently’ and “being a pioneer” while packaged good brands scored high on friendly dimension.
  • Toyota was the only notable automobile brands at rank 30 to make it to the top consumer survey list

 

Business Segment (from the 500 brands surveyed): Toyota Motors continues to be at no 1, and Apple continuing to hold it’s no 2 rank. Followed by Google and Honda at no 3, with Panasonic at no 5

Top 5  BtoB Brands :

1. Toyota

2. Apple

3. Google

3. Honda

5. Panasonic

 


According to leading brand theory guru ‘David Aaker’, the strongest brands in Japan have three characteristics.

  • They are visible, and most of the population is exposed to them frequently.
  • They are innovative providing interest and energy.
  • They are relevant in that they are widely used and capable of delivering exceptional use experiences .

Overall, Japan’s winning retail & tech brands, are all ubiquitous and provide that acute sense of high energy and vivid interest. They can be seen everywhere and are engaging at all times –  offering many new products that are fully line extended and leveraged on/ via new technologies, lending consumers the perspective of cutting edge  innovation.


Results Summary Table:


click to enlarge

 


 (BtoC) Apple and iPhone Scores Relating to“Innovative”and“Outstanding”
(compared with average of 1,000 brands in Brand Japan 2013)



click to enlarge

(BtoB) Toyota’s Scores for Five Factors (deviation)
Overall score: 93.2 points

 toyota 2013

 

About Subba Rao NV

Subbarao is an entrepreneur, management professional and a hands-on business leader with +20 years exp in consumer goods, tele-communications, wireless applications/ solutions and retail sectors, where he has handled large teams and multi unit businesses. Earlier he held VP- Sales & Marketing, COO/ CEO/ Apex positions at TATA Docomo, Bharti Airtel, Tanla Solutions and Conagra Foods (India). Having started at P&G as a management trainee, he has worked and led over 25 brands. Over the years he has lived and worked in different geographies including US, Japan and Vietnam, while holding p&l and growth responsibilities for market & value share leadership. In 2012 Co-founded Reboot Systems (India), a refurbished computers business - set up the brand, business and retail/ franchisee store model. After successfully exiting same (03/2015), is working to launch and establish his next start up - www.myfirstbigjob.com ( a platform based integrated 'jobs-skills one stop portal - presently in development stage'), to find a way out of skill-gap issues and to address the problems of skill-divide. Subbarao is also a member of Hyderabad Angels and a charter member of TIE and in his spare time runs a blog called best matters. [ www.cocreate.subbaraonv.com/ email: subba@subbaraonv.com ]

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