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On December 1st, the winners of “best brands 2016 – the Chinese brand ranking” were announced and honoured at an awards ceremony taking place in Shanghai at “The Waterhouse at South Bund”. 300 representatives across all industries and brands, agencies and media joined the gala and celebrated together with the winners.

Shanghai, December 5th 2016 — The “best brands China” award is organized by the Serviceplan Group, Europe´s largest independent communications agency, jointly with GfK, the world renowned market research organization. This year CE China, the international brand show for consumer electronics held by IFA, joined as a new marketing partner. The award gala in The Waterhouse presented the 2016 winners of the four best brands categories and was enriched with catching presentations from keynote speakers from Tencent (Jeff Kwek), DiDi (Shu Sun) and Youthology (Kevin Lee), providing marketing insights on successful branding in “Next China”.

“best brands enabled us to see how branding and communication in China changed. From a pure follower of the West to a country which gives nowadays the tone and the direction in the branding industry. All our winners tonight stand for this new movement and they all play a dominant role in creating the ‘Next China’,” said Marc Finsterlin, Managing Partner of Serviceplan China.

The winners of the 2016 best brands award are:

  • # Best Disruptive Brand # Winner: Airbnb
  • # Best Emotionally Bonding Brand # Winner: BMW
  • # Best Digital Economy Brand # Winner: Wechat
  • # Best Consumer Electronics Brand # Winner: Huawei

The topic of best brands 2016 edition is “Next China” and is supposed to shed a light on the changing mindset of the Chinese consumer, new trends, movements, and innovations. With technological advancements giving way to swift globalization across China, evolvement of a greater openness can be seen, as well as a change of the Chinese consumer to become one of the most sophisticated, global, fast-adopting, and most recently, demanding consumers in the world. Speaking the complex language of the Chinese consumer is a complex task and a very dynamic topic. In the time of DiDi, Tmall, and many other tech-driven disrupters and game changers, the traditional communication and shopping channels are getting more and more obsolete and make immediate action for many brands essential. The “Next China” will be exciting but challenging at the same time for all of marketing players in China.

“The winners of 2016 best brands China impressed us a lot with their great branding work in China,” stated Marc Finsterlin of Serviceplan. In all categories leading brands with an extraordinary brand presence in China have won in their categories. Brands who clearly understand the demand of consumer in the “Next China”. Brands who tell a unique story and use a smart set of communication measures that distinguishes them from their competitors. 

“As smartphones continue to be widely adopted around the world, we are witnessing a global trend where technology has become part of mainstream culture. As one of the world’s top smartphone manufacturers, we are delighted that our devices are seen as not only empowering but also enriching consumers’ lives. However, what’s more important is that our brand is inspiring more people to challenge themselves and that’s incredibly exciting,” stated Glory Zhang, CMO of Huawei.
The marketing awards were introduced in China the first time in 2014. It is the first brand ranking in China to take a comprehensive view of exclusively the consumer’s opinions, evaluating it based on both emotional and behavioral dimensions – creating transparency and objectivity. For the 2016 awards GfK developed their consumer survey on a scientifically designed and structured questionnaire to get the real insights to how consumers feel and think, targeting a representative sample of 2,400 consumers.

“best brands believes in a consumer centric approach as it is the most genuine and telling. We greatly appreciate the support from the marketing community in China, and are looking forward to a continuous support to the Chinese marketers by providing insights and best practices at the best brands China awards in the years to come,” added Marc Finsterlin.

You find photos from the best brands gala here in our press gallery.


About Serviceplan

The Serviceplan Group is Europe´s largest independent, and most diversified communications agency. Founded in 1970 as a traditional advertising agency, Serviceplan swiftly developed the concept of a "House of Communication". A fully integrated agency, combining all manners of communication disciplines under one roof: brand strategists, creative professionals, media or online specialists, web designers, dialogue or CRM experts, market researchers, PR consultants or sales specialists. Serviceplan supports their clients at over 35 locations worldwide, among others Beijing, Berlin, Brussels, Dubai, Hamburg, Hong Kong, London, Milan, Moscow, Munich, New Delhi, New York, Paris, Shanghai, Seoul, Vienna and Zurich. At Serviceplan more than 3,400 employees are working all around the world serving their clients such as BMW, Bosch, Continental, Danone, Fendi, HIPP, LEGO, METRO, SIEMENS, Lufthansa or WMF. More details about Serviceplan: www.serviceplan.cn

About GfK

GfK is the trusted source of relevant market and consumer information that enables its clients to make smarter decisions. More than 13,000 market research experts combine their passion with GfK’s long-standing data science experience. This allows GfK to deliver vital global insights matched with local market intelligence from more than 100 countries. By using innovative technologies and data sciences, GfK turns big data into smart data, enabling its clients to improve their competitive edge and enrich consumers’ experiences and choices. More details about GfK: www.GfK.com/cn


CE China, a global IFA event, is designed to be the premier trade show for consumer electronics and home appliances brands in China. The show is the platform that unites leading international exhibitors with top-tier Chinese retailers keen to bring new products to the market and their customers. By participating in CE China, exhibitors have the opportunity to place their products in front of valuable channel partners that can help grow sales in China as well as the rest of Asia. CE China has a strong focus on the needs of international brands, products and customers and proved its strength and positioning already in 2016 by welcoming 11,500 attendees from 89 countries, over 150 exhibitors, 15,000 sqm and more than 450 international journalists. CE China builds on the huge success of the IFA concept by integrating the retail trade to bridge the gap between manufacturers and consumers. The commitment of leading Chinese trade partners, including Suning, Alibaba and Gome, has made the first CE China a valuable driving force for the Chinese market - and far beyond.  CE China 2017 is taking place from 4 – 6 May in Shenzhen, China. More details about CE CHINA: www.cechina-ifa.com


Claudia Kirchmair

Claudia Kirchmair
Corporate Communication & PR

+49 89 2050 2273

E-Mail: c.kirchmair(at)serviceplan.com