In the inaugural 2014 “Made In” report, three Asian countries entered the top-ten list of country of origin brands, with Japan ranking 4th, China 9th and South Korea 10th.
FutureBrand President, Asia Pacific, Sarah Reiter explained: “Country of Origin serves as an important heuristic that provides consumers with a frame of reference to guide their brand choices. Based on our research, where a product ‘originates from’ is more important to consumers than its price, availability or style.”
Country of Origin has multiple layers of definitions and include where raw materials are sourced, where the product is designed, where manufacturing takes place, where final assembly is completed, and finally, where the company is incorporated.
Overall, China was ranked 9th as country of origin and performed most strongly in the electronics, automotive and fashion sectors.
Reiter added: “This is good news for China business and brands, which are shrugging off negative stereotypes, ‘cheap, low-skill, low-tech’. Like Taiwan and Japan in previous decades, China is now shifting towards being associated with ‘modern, sophisticated, high-tech’.”
However, Xiaomi, the maker of affordable, but feature-rich devices, is a homegrown business and represents a new generation of Chinese brands. It is ranked on #3 of Fast Company’s 2014 Most Innovative Companies list and also features on BCG’s list of innovative enterprises.
FutureBrand, the largest brand consultancy in Asia Pacific, released the “Made In” report and “Made In China” addendum in Shanghai.