Overall consumer perceptions of Chinese pharma brands remain positive, with good perceptions of quality and consumer care over profits, according to the Brand Finance Chinese Pharma report, which analyses and ranks the top 15 most valuable and strongest Chinese pharma brands. Popularity, consumer-centricity, product range and value are top drivers while availability is central to driving consideration for Chinese pharma brands. In addition, Chinese pharma brands are perceived being as more accessible but perceptions of community support and scientific credentials have declined.
In this report, which surveyed the opinions of 1,000 respondents aged 18-75 across the nation, Sinopharm sits at the top of China’s most valuable pharma brands. The brand recorded a 7% brand value increase to US$3.8 billion. Additionally, Sinopharm saw an increase in its brand strength rating from AA- to AA. The brand launched its smart pharmacy which utilises AI analytics and big data to achieve sales damage prevention, intelligent monitoring and other similar service-based functions. This allowed for the improvement in health services offered, incentivising higher consumer demand.
Guangzhou Pharmaceutical retained 2nd position in our rankings, with its brand value growing by 8% to US$2.2 billion and recording an improvement in brand strength rating from AA- to AA. The brand was the only pharma brand specialising in TCM in Guangzhou that received an “Excellent” rating by the National Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine (NATCM). This accolade is due to a multidisciplinary approach which integrated technology as part of its R&D processes despite it being a TCM brand. Thus, Guangzhou Pharmaceutical’s adaptability to technology places it in a strong position to reap the rewards of future technology and strategic partnerships.
In Brand Finance’s secondary ranking specifically focusing on TCM brands given their unique standing within the broader industry, Guangzhou Pharmaceutical lays claim to being the most valuable TCM brand once again with Yunnan Baiyao following closely in 2nd place. Pien Tze Huang, a new entrant in our brand rankings, completes the top three in 3rd place. Yunnan Baiyao partnered with technology giant Huawei through a “Comprehensive Cooperation Agreement on Artificial Intelligence Drug R&D” arrangement which intends to enhance the scientific and technological content of Yunnan Baiyao’s products.
999 (brand value up 9% to US$302.7 million) and Tong Ren Tang (brand value down 4% to US$278.69 million) finish the list of the top five most valuable TCM brands in 4th and 5th positions respectively. In 2022, on World Stroke Day, Tong Ren Tang held its “Peer Support for Stroke Prevention” campaign for the seventh consecutive year in Hong Kong. It screened live broadcast lectures and provided visits to stroke rehabilitation centres to raise awareness about stroke prevention among the younger generations.
With a Brand Strength Index (BSI) score of 73 out of 100 and a corresponding AA brand strength rating, Yunnan Baiyao also holds the distinction of being the strongest Chinese pharma brand. Tong Ren Tang (BSI 72), Sinopharm (BSI 70), Guangzhou Pharmaceutical (BSI 70) and Pien Tze Huang (BSI 69) complete the top five strongest brands. Our study found that TCM brands are gaining prominence and traction due to improved saliency, with Yunnan Baiyao and Tong Ren Tang taking the lead in familiarity growth percentages of 22% and 20% respectively to reach 89% and 83%, respectively. Yunnan Baiyao saw an improvement by 7% in usage levels to 91%.
Having established their domestic consumer base during the pandemic, many Chinese pharma brands are venturing into global markets. It is crucial that they continue to focus on innovation by enhancing R&D capabilities and incorporating digitalisation and artificial intelligence into their products. Doing so will allow them to better cater to the needs of their consumers, creating for them competitive advantages over their pharma counterparts from other regions.
Scott Chen, Managing Director, Brand Finance China