Academic and industry experts believe it is time to take a comprehensive and concrete approach to build Vietnam’s national brand.
Vietnam’s national brand value has been continuously improving in recent years. According to Brand financingVietnam was ranked 33rd globally in 2021 with a national brand value of US$388 billion, up 21.6% year-on-year. The country was also among the top 10 fastest growing national brands in this ranking.
dr. Erhan Atay, RMIT University senior program manager for international affairs, believes that such achievements have been achieved “with the concerted efforts of the strategic programs and government support, along with corporate-level efforts to enhance their presence and value in both domestic and global markets.” expand markets.”
However, he noted that while the export values of key industries such as the processed food and clothing industries have risen significantly, the reality is that the number of Vietnam-originated brands known worldwide is “extremely limited.”
Fellow RMIT School of Business & Management academic Dr. Dang Thao Quyen explained that Vietnam’s export earnings mainly come from selling raw materials or attending simple production or assembly processes of global value chains.
“These business activities add little value and are unsustainable for businesses and the economy as a whole. Ultimately, global consumers are unaware of Vietnamese brands, while domestic consumers in many cases prefer international products over local ones,” said Dr. quyen.
The RMIT academics said it is time for both government and business to take a comprehensive and concrete approach to strengthen the national brand and the brands of individual companies, in order to compete in global business.
So, what strategies should be followed in this approach? Let’s take a look at four considerations recently shared by experts at RMIT: International Business Week event themed “National branding in the global business context: the way forward for Vietnam”.
- Domestic favor is necessary before we go global
If a country or a brand wants to conquer the global market, it must first gain the favor of its domestic citizens and market. Companies should not underestimate the importance of the domestic market. If they cannot satisfy the customers in their home, where they are supposed to have the best understanding, there is no guarantee that they have any chance of competing in markets with different political, socio-cultural and economic environments.
“If a country and its products are not attractive to its citizens, the country will have more trouble attracting foreign audiences and maintaining a favorable reputation in the international arena in the long run,” said Dr. Lindsey M. Bier, assistant professor at the University of Southern California, United States.
- A journey of a thousand miles begins with the first small steps
Entering international markets can be a bumpy journey that requires small steps, patience and effort at first for companies to prepare well. Companies can first accept being manufacturers for brands from other countries before they can sell products with their original brands. However, in no case should they lose the Vietnamese origin.
As Ms. Vo Thi Lien Huong, Vice General Director of Secoin Corporation, said, “We have to be realistic. Everyone wants to go international and be a big player there, but we have to know who we are. We have to know the position of our nation. So don’t think about big things, let’s go step by step.”
- Preparation of knowledge of foreign market access
The experts pointed out that due to a lack of knowledge about foreign markets, many Vietnamese companies have learned expensive lessons and lost their brands or trademarks to foreign companies. So companies need to acquire sufficient knowledge to penetrate, grow and protect their brands worldwide.
“Many companies that have no experience in exporting products to foreign markets have had their brands adopted. Foreign companies often propose to change the brand name to a foreign brand. Vietnamese companies accept and lose their brand name when they go to foreign markets,” said Mr. Lai Tien Manh, Brand Finance Country Representative in Vietnam.
- Differentiation and integration of sustainability
Meanwhile, Dr Daniel Borer, economics lecturer at RMIT Vietnam emphasized: “We need to think about where we have an edge over others. We have to be a green brand.”
He believes differentiation is the key to standing out and excelling in international markets. In addition, the country and companies need to keep abreast of global sustainability trends and integrate the UN Sustainable Development Goals into their sustainable growth strategies.