LONDON, Feb. 8 (Xinhua) -- The Chinese Lunar New Year is a great opportunity for Chinese brands to gain awareness globally, as the Year of the Ox, starting from Friday, is around the corner, David Haigh, CEO of Brand Finance, told Xinhua in a written interview.
"Chinese (Lunar) New Year is already a famous festival all over the world, becoming an important cultural event which often presents an opportunity for people to try Chinese brands and products during the celebrations," said Haigh, CEO of the London-based independent brand valuation and strategy consultancy.
An illustrative example is the traditional Chinese spirit, or Baijiu, which "is mainly consumed by Chinese people, but is labelled as the must-have celebration drink for Chinese New Year among foreigners", he said.
Haigh said he believes that Chinese brands should grab this cultural event to gain brand awareness in markets that are usually difficult for them to enter.
"There are many opportunities to be seized upon, such as potentially sponsoring Chinese (Lunar) New Year festivities," he said.
Noting that the increasingly rising Chinese brands are standing out of the world stage, Haigh hailed it as "an impressive feat" which has been achieved over the past decade.
According to the latest Brand Finance Global 500 2021 report, China ranked the second in terms of brand value breakdown by country -- both in the number of brands and total brand value, he added.
"The 84 Chinese brands in the ranking account for over 20 percent of total brand value, amounting to a remarkable 1.5 trillion U.S. dollars," Haigh said.
"This is an impressive feat considering that only 27 Chinese brands featured in the ranking 10 years ago," he noted.
Speaking of the driving factors behind the emergence of Chinese brands, Haigh said they have "benefitted from a strengthening economy, allowing industries with a traditional advantage -- such as banking and insurance -- to become bigger and stronger."
"However, the key driver for Chinese brands' performance is innovation, particularly in technology," he said, adding that WeChat, Huawei and Alibaba "have become superstar brands, meeting the benchmarks set by the likes of Apple, Samsung and Amazon."
Asked whether he believes Chinese brands would continue to go up in the world in the coming years, Haigh answered "Yes".
He explained that while many countries -- including the United States and most of Europe -- are still under restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, China's economy has recovered rapidly from the slump caused by the pandemic.
Meanwhile, Haigh said beyond the pandemic Chinese brands have benefited from governmental initiatives such as the Belt and Road Initiative, which "has boosted the nation's global reputation."
Asked about the current limitation for Chinese brands to reach out the world's consumers, Haigh said a major issue is that "most of them are geographically limited."
"This issue is illustrated in some of the most famous Chinese brands -- ICBC (the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China), Ping An (a Chinese insurance company), and Yili (a Chinese dairy products producer)...Despite being among the world's most valuable in their sectors, (their) brand awareness outside of China is limited," he said.
He further suggested that these Chinese companies should manage to "break through geographical restrictions and gain global influence".
"As more Chinese companies are realizing that their brand is an important asset for long-term business growth, we expect China's brands to continue to flourish," he said. Enditem