June 01, 2020 08:31

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Effective branding a necessity

08:21 | 15/09/2019

VCN- According to Assoc.Prof.Dr. Nguyen Quoc Thinh, Head of the Brand Management Department (University of Commerce) and Chairman of the Advisory Council of Brand and Competitive Strategy Research Institute, awareness of enterprises on branding has improved, but businesses need a more coherent and intensive approach for effective brand development.

tin nhap 20190911144034 Vietnam has no strategic thinking in building a national brand
tin nhap 20190911144034 Difficulties in national brand building
tin nhap 20190911144034 More effort needed to boost national brand value
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Assoc. Prof. Dr. Nguyen Quoc Thinh, Head of Brand Management Department (University of Commerce), Chairman of Advisory Council of Brand and Competition Strategy Research Institute

What do you think of Vietnam's brands on the world map?

The gap between domestic and foreign markets is not big and the awareness of enterprises hasgradually improved.So Vietnamese businesses have succeededin building brands abroad. However, it must be acknowledged that the majority of Vietnamese enterprises currently taking goods abroad have to go through intermediaries or export raw materials, most of which use the brand name of enterprises to access the market, meaningtheir brand names are known by a few importers and distributors. For the majority of domestic consumers, because businesses do not have the opportunity to bring their final product to consumers, they are not well known. For example, Vietnam has hundreds of seafood exporterswhichare known by many foreign partners, they all appreciate the reputation and quality of Vietnamese products. But domestic consumers do not know the specific enterpriseenterprise, they only know this is a Vietnamese product.

The above comment shows that the view that Vietnamese enterprises do not have the capacity to build brands abroad is incorrect – each enterprise has different target customers, so the brand is developed in different segments. Moreover, we have just joined the market economy, the foreign market is not easy to penetrate, so it is only compatible for a number of businesses with certain potential, conditions and skills in developing the brand.

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Among the top 10 leading brands, Vinamilk ranked first with a value of up to US $2.2 million. Photo: Internet

Obviously, we do not have big brands in the top group in the world, what do you think about this?

I disagree with this. Why do we have to insist Vietnamese brands develop on par with big international corporations? That is not fair for Vietnamese businesses. Up to now, we have beenvery confident and proud when a series of Vietnamese brands have entered foreign markets, especially exported to markets where many Vietnamese people are living.

What are the limitations in developing brands of Vietnamese businesses?

Besides the dynamic businesses that have brought their products and brands to foreign countries, many businesses are still hesitating. Perhaps they are afraid of developingbrandsbecause the cost of developing themabroad is very expensive –a trademark registration in the US may cost tens of thousands of dollars. Moreover, a percentage of Vietnamese businesses do business in a "take life as it comes" manner, which is not long-term. They just need to know they can sell products even at low profits, they’re not thinking about deep processing to develop brands or add value.

Moreover, the support for Vietnamese enterprises in accessing foreign markets through communication promotion activities is not good. Vietnam does not have strong funds to support businesses, so the rate of businesses goingabroad to explore the market, obtain knowledge and product lines is limited. For example, in Thailand, the annual fairs and exhibitions are held about 10 times per year, inviting Vietnamese entrepreneurs to participate. They offer big funding andparticipating business will begivenat least 100 USD.

Besides the quality of enterprises, the knowledge of Vietnamese businesses on brand development is still limited. Our survey results in 2018 showed that 78% of businesses are interested in branding, but in intensive interviews, only 48% of businesses have real knowledge and clear orientation of branding.That means more than 50% of businesses do not know what to do, although they want to do it.

The most difficult thing through a detailed survey is a very large proportion of businesses think that a brand is a formal or decorative thing. They are more interested in the brand through the system of identifiers, from names, logos, to speech and brand communication. So, when it comes to branding, they are afraid of losing advertising. That's the wrong way of branding. Understanding properly a brand must be an integral part of business activity. The attitude of employees with customers and fulfilling commitments is also branding.

Now, Vietnam also has many big brands acquired by foreign countries, what do you think about this?

In my opinion, it is normal, because many foreign brands are also acquired, strong businesses are going to acquire weak businesses. So, we should not be afraid of some Vietnamese brands being acquired. The problem is how we acquire foreign brands. However, it is unfortunate that some national brands have fallen into foreign hands, which is very regrettable, because enterprises with this brand have been entitled to incentives from the national brand program. Therefore, the branding problem must be calculated in the most beneficial way, any related activities are double-sided.

What do Vietnamese enterprises need to do to build a brand?

If you want to build a brand, you need will, determination and knowledge of the leadership. Businesses need a more coherent approach, taking training courses, approaching to share with brand experts, updating their knowledge. These are the issues that play a key role, not every business can do it withmoney. Moreover, the search for profits is natural, but do not just think about seeking profits by all means, but they must find ways to improve the value of businesses, how to exploit intellectual capital, have the strongest creation to intellectual property. It is necessary to find ways to build a better business image in the future, based on many different factors.

In my opinion, coming to the world is not a terrible matter. When businesses penetrate any market, they have to understandthe legal provisions and the barriersset by these markets. Besides, businesses must understand market trends to develop their business. Each market and each region has different issues, but that does not mean having to get in the most difficultplace. Enterprises should look for niche markets, suitable with the capacity of businesses and market tastes.

By Huong Diu /QuynhLan