Chinese Brands Claim Top 4 Positions in Brand Finance Spirits 50 Ranking

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Chinese Brands Claim Top 4 Positions in Brand Finance Spirits 50 Ranking

Chinese Brands Claim Top 4 Positions in Brand Finance Spirits 50 Ranking
July 10
14:22 2019

Chinese baijiu brand Moutai retains its status as the world’s most valuable spirits brand with an impressive 43% increase in brand value to US$30.5 billion, according to the latest report by Brand Finance, the world’s leading independent brand valuation consultancy.

As China’s most prestigious baijiu brand, Moutai has recorded healthy brand value growth since last year, a nod to its heightened brand presence and large-scale marketing campaigns, further cementing its position as the top. Chinese baijiu brands dominate the rankings, with Wuliangye (brand value up 10% to US$16.0 billion) and Yanghe (up 16% to US$9.1 billion) defending their second and third place positions respectively. Wuliangye, despite recording lower brand value growth than its baijiu counterparts, has recorded strong share price growth in the latter part of 2018. Luzhou Laojiao (up 40% to US$5.4 billion) has knocked Diageo-ownedJohnnie Walker (up 8% to US$4.6 billion) into fifth position, making it a Chinese top 4 for the first time.

All baijiu brands have had to contend with several years of sales growth stagnation, a result of the Chinese government’s crackdown on lavish spending. However, demand is now on a sharp upward trajectory, which will no doubt further boost brand values in the coming year.

David Haigh, CEO of Brand Finance, comments: “Chinese baijiu brands are stealing the show, accounting for 54% of the total brand value in our rankings this year. These brands have had to be nimble in adapting to the shift from an expansion market to a competitive market, following China’s recent economic and political changes. How they respond and embrace these changes will determine future brand value growth opportunities.”

CÎROC records remarkable growth

French vodka brand CÎROC has recorded an extraordinary increase in brand value, up 113% to US$941 million. The brand, which first became internationally recognised in 2007 when it announced a partnership with rapper Sean “Diddy” Combs, has thrived under his marketing direction. CÎROC is meeting the increased consumer demand for a variety of new flavours in traditional drinks through its seasonal releases of limited-edition vodkas.

Outside of the drinks market, CÎROC last year launched CÎROC studios, a state-of-the-art music recording facility in Los Angeles dedicated to emerging artists. In a move to further its raise brand awareness, CÎROC launched a ‘Celebration’ bottle of vodka for the announcement.

South Korea’s soju brand, Chamisul, has also seen a significant increase in brand value, growing 94% since last year to a brand value of US$649 million. The spirit, made using rice, barley and tapioca, is popular amongst millennials and older men and women.

Patrón is highest new entrant

Super-premium tequila brand Patrón is the highest new entrant in the ranking in 14th position, with a brand value of US$2.2 billion.

The tequila boom shows no signs of slowing down, with the spirit’s popularity continuing to grow worldwide. Patrón has focused its marketing efforts on highlighting the brand’s rich artisanal production story, in an effort to differentiate its product from its main challengers in such a highly competitive market.

Patrón was fully acquired by spirits giant Barcardi Limited in mid-2018, opening up vast opportunities for growth in foreign markets, which could stand the brand in good stead for the year ahead.

Don Julio still a strong spirit

In addition to measuring overall brand value, Brand Finance also evaluates the relative strength of brands, based on factors such as marketing investment, familiarity, loyalty, staff satisfaction, and corporate reputation. Alongside revenue forecasts, brand strength is a crucial driver of brand value.

According to this criteria, Mexico’s Don Julio (brand value up 77% to US$536 million) has retained its title as the world’s strongest spirits brand with a Brand Strength Index (BSI) score of 88.05 out of 100 and a corresponding AAA brand strength rating.

Luxury premium tequila brand, Don Julio, hit the prestigious million-case mark in 2018. The brand largely attributes its success to the way in which its tequila is crafted, its excellent mixability and the effective capitalisation of its network of influencers, particularly high-profile DJ ambassadors.

View the full Brand Finance Spirits 50 2019 report here

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