Audi took the top rank in the second-annual Prestige 100®: China IQ, which measures the digital footprint of 100 prestige brands in China, the world’s fastest-growing luxury market. The study was developed by NYU Stern Professor Scott Galloway and a team of experts from L2, a think tank for digital innovation, and Doug Guthrie, dean of GW’s School of Business and China scholar. Brands were scored on over 300 data points across four dimensions: site, digital marketing, social media and mobile. To download the complete rankings and key findings, visit this link.
“In today’s global economy, China is the driver of so much growth,” said Dean Guthrie. “For many companies, if you get your China strategy right, you’re probably going to be okay. However, the Chinese market is still tremendously misunderstood, and the digital landscape in China is even more so. L2 Think Tank is a radical innovator in the area of digital research and marketing. GWSB’s partnership with Scott Galloway and his team give us an opportunity to put forward knowledge about China that is simply not out there.”
Sixty-eight percent of the brands in the study were classified as “challenged” or “feeble”, while only three earned the “genius” distinction, suggesting that digital efforts in China are nascent. There is evidence, however, that the market is moving quickly. Brand participation on Chinese social media platforms has increased from less than 5 percent to 66 percent while the number of brands selling online has doubled since 2010.
“The global prestige market is predicted to grow at a rate of 2.2 times GDP, most of it powered by one market – China,” said Professor Galloway. “The online medium presents a tremendous opportunity to reach a Chinese consumer who is younger, digitally native and obsessed with luxury.”
Top Ranked Brands in the Study:
5. Benefit Cosmetics
6. Cadillac (tied)
6. Estée Lauder (tied)
8. Land Rover (tied)
8. Mercedes-Benz (tied)
Key findings include:
- Selling Is Knowing: The percentage of e-commerce enabled brands has doubled since 2010. Those prestige brands with online selling capabilities boast an average IQ 16 points higher than those without online sales. Beauty and cosmetics has the highest e-commerce penetration of any category with 11 out of 15 brands selling online.
- Digital Disparity: Over 50 percent of Chinese luxury purchases are made abroad, yet only 58 percent of brands provide U.S. and European store locators – missing an opportunity to expand global reach.
- Wild About Weibo: In the highly fragmented Chinese social landscape, Sina Weibo, the Chinese microblogging site, is the platform of choice. Fifty-seven percent of prestige brands maintain a presence on this platform.
- Buried On Baidu: Local search engine Baidu possesses 76 percent of the Chinese search market. However, visibility on this search engine is on the decline with 42 percent of prestige brand sites appearing outside of the top three search results. This suggests that brands are optimizing for global platforms versus Chinese specific platforms.
- Mobile Incompatibility: Two-thirds of China’s 485 million Internet users access the web via their mobile phones, yet only 25 percent of brands maintain a mobile optimized site.