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Targeted markets

Released at: 08:01, 20/10/2014

Targeted markets

A recent Kantar Worldpanel Vietnam study reveals that, while Unilever is the most chosen brand in rural areas, Vinamilk is more preferred by urban consumers.

by Trang

The latest observations of Kantar Worldpanel Vietnam, published in June, show that Unilever, the global giant FMCG manufacturer, has its products selected more than 400 million times each year in Vietnam’s rural areas. According to Mr David Anjoubault, General Manager of Kantar Worldpanel Vietnam, not just focusing on advertising, Unilever also invests in new product development, with many successful new launches across categories, for example the Comfort Essential Oil range in the fabric conditioner category, which offers a sensorial fragrance and builds the proposition of “a spa at home”. “Unilever is also very good at making its products available and accessible to consumers, via its wide distribution network,” said Mr Anjoubault. In fact, Unilever shines brighter than any other brand owner with the deepest market penetration - more than 99 per cent - in both urban and rural markets.

The key to Unilever’s success, Mr Anjoubault went on, is thorough its understanding of Vietnamese consumer needs and behaviour, enabling it to respond to trends in the right way. Given the economic slowdown, manufacturers need to keep close track of how consumers react and change their purchasing behaviour in order to adapt their marketing strategies, as FMCG has become polarised (offering low-cost product ranges for lower income earners and added-value products for high income earners).

Last but not least, similar to other successful global brands, Unilever has recently also put more effort into creating a personal experience for their consumers. They proactively engage with consumers through various online platforms and interact via two-way communications. They focus on building a community around their brands, which make them stand out in consumers’ minds. “With its commitment to a Sustainable Living Plan through various community activities, including health and hygiene education, micro-finance loans, and a sustainable tea sourcing project, among others, Unilever has successfully touched and communicated with Vietnamese people around the country, especially in remote areas,” said Mr Anjoubault.

Meanwhile, the Kantar Worldpanel’s Brand Footprint ranked Vinamilk as the most chosen brand in urban areas for the second year. The local diary leader owns a wide range of food and beverage brands, including Vinamilk, Ong Tho, and Ngoi Sao Phuong Nam (Southern Star), which were selected nearly 75 million times in 2013 by 98 per cent of urban households over the last year.

Masan came second in rural areas and third in urban areas, mostly due to its two popular sauce brands - Nam Ngu and Tam Thai Tu. Masan also owns other powerful food and beverage brands such as Wake-up Café Saigon and Kokomi, which enjoy rocketing growth in rural areas.

Mr Anjoubault acknowledged that, in Vietnam, global brands perform strongly and lead the ranking in the Health & Beauty and Home Care sectors in both urban and rural areas. But when it comes to food, local brands hold more advantages. “Local consumers feel enormous pride in local brands and their heritage, particularly in food, and local brands can also be more flexible and responsive to local consumer needs,” he said. “This local preference means global manufacturers must react to cultural differences and spend time understanding local consumers’ needs and wants to win their hearts,” he said.

According to the worldwide 2014 Brand Footprint study, brands that win at the moment of truth are those that have relevant and effective marketing campaigns. They are brands with meaning, with ideas that make people’s lives happier, healthier, or easier, with innovations and communications tailored to what’s important in local markets - for instance, convenience, health and affordability. They are brands that understand their shoppers, and by using two-way communications and social media, they pinpoint what motivates consumers’ choices and what will stir them into action.

Top 5 Manufacturers in Four Key Cities (Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, Danang, & Can Tho)

2013 Rank

Manufacturer

Consumer Reach Points 2013

Penetration (%)

Frequency

1

Vinamilk

74,588,671

97.5

32.1

2

Unilever

57,443,108

99.6

24.2

3

Masan

33,263,962

95.6

14.6

4

Vina Acecook

24,584,054

89.7

11.5

5

Friesland Campina

22,725,385

76.9

12.4

 

Top 5 Manufacturers in Rural Vietnam

2013 Rank

Manufacturer

Consumer Reach Points 2013

Penetration (%)

Frequency

1

Unilever

407,009,306

99.8

25.2

2

Masan

297,556,856

97.8

18.8

3

Vinamilk

212,873,299

81.7

16.1

4

Vina Acecook

142,707,986

80.9

10.9

5

Asia Foods

113,258,816

72.9

9.6

Source: Kantar Worldpanel’s Brand Footprint 2014

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