Are Chinese consumers brand loyal?

For marketers, the problem is that despite this infatuation with brands, Chinese consumers don't consistently buy the same ones or even those they prefer. Price differences and point-of-sale marketing vehicles can change a consumer's behavior in a heartbeat. Asked to choose among three leading television brands—two foreign and one domestic—49 percent of the survey respondents said they would pick Sony if prices were similar. But our analysis shows that a Sony premium of just 10 percent over the price of a TV from Changhong (a leading domestic brand) could make about a third of the people who say they prefer Sony choose its Chinese rival instead. In developed markets, companies that enjoy the level of brand preference that Sony TVs garner in China can routinely charge price premiums of up to 40 percent. And consumer electronics had some of the highest brand preference and loyalty scores among all the categories in our Chinese survey.

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