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Branding still a mystery for many

Released at: 10:32, 18/09/2017 BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT

Branding still a mystery for many

Mr. Bui Huy Son, Head of Vietnam Trade Promotion Agency Photo: Vietrade

Workshop hears that few enterprises in Vietnam have adopted the right mindset when it comes to building their brand.

by Quang Huy

Evaluating the current role of branding for businesses, CEO of Mibrand, Mr. Lai Tien Manh, told the “Building Strategic Branding for Businesses” workshop hosted by the Vietnam Trade Promotion Agency on August 30 in Hanoi that while awareness of and demand for brand building have increased there is still a long road ahead before awareness becomes action.

“Many businesses are still constrained by limited knowledge about branding while not spending enough to improve their own expertise, and low-cost marketing campaigns reflect their unclear vision and misunderstanding about branding,” Mr. Manh said.

CEO of Mibrand, Mr. Lai Tien Manh  Photo: Vietrade

Many businesses are still stuck with old mindsets, thinking a business can naturally grow and shine. In the digital age, “we need to change our thinking about marketing and branding in the new context,” he said, adding that businesses need to engage with communications agencies to advertise their products on prestigious media channels.

According to Mr. Vu Xuan Truong from the Institute for Brand and Competitive Strategy, advertising still has many failings in Vietnam, including inappropriate advertising channels. “Many businesses still favor the idea of running ads during peak hour on TV, while the facts show that most TV viewers are not businesspeople,” Mr. Truong said, adding that messages delivered via ads generally contain weak content.

Following marketing campaigns, few Vietnamese businesses evaluate their impact and effectiveness and make timely adjustments, which is extremely important for brand building.

Photo: Vietrade

“Businesses should measure the number of customers that are aware of their brands and know and understand their behavior,” Mr. Truong went on. “A brand’s battle is not decided by tricks that we can see and touch, but in the minds of customers.”

Different attitude needed

A tight budget might concern businesses when it comes to brand building, but experts believe that it’s best to have a clear vision when selecting a strategy, whether in the short or long term. “Strategies require a long-term vision, but tactics are for the short term,” Mr. Truong said. “Trying to build brands quickly will not guarantee sustainability.”

Mr. Manh suggested that businesses leave aside the cost issue and build their brand by putting customers as their main priority. Gone are the days when brand building was just about designing a logo or stamping a brand on the product. “Brand building is about how long the product remains inside customers’ minds,” he explained. “To successfully build a brand, businesses should position themselves clearly and differently, and they need to be aware of product quality to attract and satisfy customers.”

The National Branding Program is the only program launched by the Vietnamese Government to promote the national image and brand via product branding. It is a long-term trade promotion program aimed at building and promoting the image of Vietnam as a country with high quality goods and services, to create prestige and enhance the competitiveness of Vietnamese enterprises in both local and international markets. Through the program, Vietnam will be shown as a country with a good reputation for diversified goods and services, while enhancing awareness among distributors and consumers both local and foreign about its branded products, building an image of Vietnam associated with the values of “Quality - Innovation, Creativity - Pioneering Capability” and contributing to encouraging tourism and attracting foreign investment.

Bringing a wide range of insightful knowledge to participants, the program is a chance for managers, enterprises and organizations to exchange experience in brand building while at the same time providing an opportunity to promote the National Target Program, stimulating the country’s exports and building Vietnam’s national brand on the international area. This is also the main purpose of the National Branding Program - the only program where the Prime Minister has assigned the Trade Promotion Department under the Ministry of Industry and Trade to be the standing agency for deployment.

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