BEIJING: Apple, China Mobile and Nike are regarded as the most engaging brands by Chinese consumers, according to analysis by R3, the consultancy.

R3, the consultancy, polled 1,500 people in China’s ten largest cities, with respondents asked to name their favourite brands, recall memorable marketing efforts, and identify the values associated with these offerings.

Apple, the electronics giant, topped the charts on a score of 128.1 points, a figure which had increased by 23% during the three months since R3’s last round of research.

“This was an important time for Apple with the new iPad global launch and the iPhone 4S in full China distribution – they truly leveraged paid, owned and earned media better than anyone else in China,” Greg Paull, principal for R3, said.

China Mobile, the telecoms group, was on 121.2 points, a 20% lift over the last quarter. Nike, the sportswear brand, was third on 84.3 points, ahead of Coca-Cola, the soft drinks firm, on 77.2 points and Yili, the dairy specialist, on 74.9 points.

Elsewhere, the study assessed which digital brands were resonating the most with consumers. Baidu, the search engine, led the rankings here, on 90.2 points overall.

Sina Weibo, the microblog, was on 89 points, a 20% leap in three months and up 56% in six months. Taobao, an online retailer, posted 82.8 points, and Q-Zone, the social media site, logged 82.4 points.

Tencent Weibo registered 74.5 points, and 70% of people utilising microblogging services belonged to this property and Sina’s alternative, R3 revealed.

“Since early 2011, both companies have been fighting for more and more celebrity accounts, so we’re going to see this multiple usage for the foreseeable future,” said Paull.

Of the consumers following brands on Weibo sites, some 10% reported that they were most highly engaged with Coca-Cola on this platform, standing at 7% for Nike, and 6% for Lenovo, the IT group.

Adidas, another sportswear group, was on 4%, the same rating as BMW and Volkswagen, the automakers, and McDonald’s, the fast-food group.

“Coke have used weibo from the very beginning for promotions, games … and news – in short, they have led the way in driving engagement, and it plays out in consumer feedback,” Paull said.