When it comes to technology, Chinese brands cannot be ignored.
If any doubts remain about the viability of brands from the Middle
Kingdom, Alibaba's world record IPO last year erased them all.
But Alibaba is not even the most valuable Chinese brand.
According to the recent BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Chinese Brands
report from Millward Brown and WPP, that distinction actually
belongs to Tencent, the country's leading Internet portal. Alibaba,
the e-commerce giant, comes in at No. 2, with search provider Baidu
ranked fifth. That means three of the five most valuable Chinese
brands operate businesses grounded in technology.
No brand can be successful without understanding what really
motivates consumers. Harking back to Harvard Business School
Professor Clay Christensen, consumers are motivated only by the
things that they need or want to do and they measure the value of
any potential solution primarily by its ability to deliver against
their "jobs-to-be-done." Choosing the solution that best
accomplishes these jobs is what matters most.
It goes without saying that China's so-called BAT - Baidu,
Alibaba and Tencent - brands have excelled in accomplishing
consumers' tech-related "jobs-to-be-done" with their flagship
offers. With World of Convergence, our comprehensive investigation
into these jobs and the ability of current solutions to deliver
against them, TNS has pinpointed the greatest strengths of the BAT
brands from the consumers' point of view. Even more importantly, we
have identified the gaps that still remain. These tensions
represent opportunity for the BAT brands to improve or for other
tech players to exploit and disrupt the status quo.
At the core of Tencent's business is the popular messaging
platform WeChat, which also provides a gateway to other Tencent
services for shopping, gaming, payments and more. According to
World of Convergence, Chinese consumers consider WeChat most
aligned with their need for a "portable life tool" - technology to
help them keep in touch with others and stay up-to-date with what's
going on no matter where they may be. Consumers love that WeChat
allows them to connect more personally and build closer bonds with
others around the world.
But not all is ideal. Consumers think the WeChat experience
could be more streamlined, and they wish it didn't leave them at
the mercy of the connectivity of the device they are using it on,
which may not be all that reliable on the go. These tensions
represent an opportunity for a better solution to move to the
forefront in serving consumers' needs for a portable life tool -
one that gets things done with fewer steps and can be used on the
go without risk of a dropped connection.
When it comes to Alibaba, the Taobao marketplace and the related
payment function Alipay, are the primary consumer platforms.
Taobao/Alipay is best aligned with consumers' need for a "safe
basic diversion," a digital experience that's fun and easy enough
to use every day, but with enough customer support and security to
Taobao/Alipay indeed stands out for its high level of security
in conducting financial transactions online, while consumers also
appreciate its clarity on costs and 24/7 customer service. At the
same time, however, they find Taobao/Alipay too transactional, not
as fun or engaging as they wish. They also feel bogged down at
times by delays from streaming or buffering. A solution better
equipped to deliver these ideal requirements has the opportunity to
get ahead in serving consumers' need for a safe basic
Search is at the heart of the Baidu proposition, and consumers
therefore consider it most aligned with their need for a "secure
efficient assistant," technology that offers a versatile, efficient
way to accomplish what they need to do. They laud Baidu for always
finding the best answers they are looking for and for helping them
gain immediate access to the content they need.
However, security is a tension for consumers. They wish Baidu
would do more to protect their personal information, allowing them
to hide more private content and limit outside access to their
searches. Opportunity therefore remains for a solution that raises
the bar on security in serving consumers' need for a secure
World of Convergence has made it clear that the BAT brands offer
many distinct advantages to consumers, but they are not without
vulnerabilities and there is still plenty of room for other
technology companies to differentiate their offers and build more
innovative solutions designed to mitigate the tensions that still
exist between the jobs consumers want to accomplish and the ability
to get the help they seek. Companies that successfully tap into
those tensions may be poised to become the next big up-and-comers
in China's technology scene.
Source: Kantar TNS