While multinational CPG brands brands face growing competition and loss of market share in China, they continue to lead in digital sophistication in the country. Foreign brands claimed all of the top 10 spots in L2’s just-released Digital IQ Index: CPG China. They cannot rest on their laurels, however: Chinese brands are improving their digital intelligence — and gaining market share. Look below to see the strategies that helped each brand earn a leading position in this year’s ranking:
1. Friso Digital IQ: 143
With the largest share of shelf on both Tmall and JD.com, infant formula brand Friso is also present across China’s main cross-border e-tailers: Kaola, RED, Tmall Global, and JD Worldwide. The brand invests in WeChat functionality with product authentication and is active with sampling campaigns on China’s top digital parenting platforms.
2. Oral-B Digital IQ: 141
E-toothbrush brand Oral-B’s WeChat account offers sophisticated customer service features such as a live chat with dentists. It supports its Tmall store with advertising and strong content, and spends big on electric toothbrush-related Baidu search terms for mobile.
3. Pampers Digital IQ: 140
The diaper brand’s WeChat loyalty program features samples, giveaways, and parenting advice, while products rank high in search results on Tmall. It also invests heavily in sampling campaigns on PCBaby and Babytree.
4. Philips Digital IQ: 138
As an electric shaver brand, Philips’ comparatively high price point makes it one of the only brands to offer DTC e-commerce through its site, and it offers after-sales service such as site live chat and WeChat geolocation to find repair sites as well as repair progress tracking. It capitalizes on JD.com’s partnership with Baidu to drive users to product listings on the e-tailer, while also investing in visibility on JD.com itself.
5. Vidal Sassoon Digital IQ: 135
The hair care label received high engagement and sales boosts through cross-platform KOL and celebrity promotions on Tmall’s livestreaming platform, WeChat, and Weibo. With campaigns featuring top lifestyle and beauty bloggers as well as South Korean pop star G-Dragon, the brand dominated all of the top 10 most popular personal care posts on WeChat.
6. Safeguard Digital IQ: 134
The soapmaker’s cross-platform campaign featuring celebrity brand ambassadors TFBoys boosted engagement on Weibo and led to a significant Baidu Index spike.
7. Braun Digital IQ: 131
Taking advantage of Tmall’s livestreaming platform, Braun broadcasted the launch event for its new Series 5 electric shaver from an upscale Taiwanese bookstore in Suzhou. To build up hype for the launch, it allowed users to reserve the shaver online up to two weeks before the event and gave the first 1,000 buyers a free gift.
7. L’Oréal Paris Digital IQ: 131
L’Oréal Paris leads hair care brands in unbranded paid visibility on Baidu, while it hosts a separate WeChat account for men and offers a WeChat loyalty program that allows users to redeem points and pick up gifts offline.
7. Philips Sonicare Digital IQ: 131
The brand offers a Chinese-language mobile app connected to its e-toothbrush that allows users to monitor oral health. It also holds a high share of the top 50 products in its category on Tmall without having to resort to heavy discounting, and has 100% paid visibility on Baidu in the e-toothbrushes category.
10. Whisper Digital IQ: 127
New to the top 10 this year, the brand launched a new Baidu Brand Zone on desktop and mobile and earns high community site engagement through sample campaigns. Under its non-Chinese brand name, Always, the brand is one of only three Index brands available for import across all four top cross-border e-commerce platforms.