Vietnamese goods flooding world markets, but Vietnamese brands unknown
VietNamNet Bridge – Vietnam has been well-known as a
big exporter and Vietnamese goods have been consumed all over the world.
However, very few consumers can cite specific trademarks of Vietnam.
Dr Nguyen Quoc Thinh from
the Brand Center
of the University of Trade, said that when he attended an exhibition
organized recently in the US,
he and the colleagues asked 127 US consumers about the perception of the
Only 12 of the polled people
said they know Vietnamese goods in the US, and only three could name three
Vietnamese brands: Pho 24 (noodle soup), Vinacafe (coffee) and Tosy (toy).
The above mentioned example
shows that though Vietnam
keeps exporting goods to the world and plays a certain role in the world
market, Vietnamese enterprises still do not succeed in building up strong
brands to make Vietnamese products better known to the world’s consumers.
Thinh has also talked about
Vietnamese tra and basa fish, which have become more famous after the lawsuit
raised by the US catfish farmers’ association against Vietnamese seafood
Though Vietnam is leading the world in terms of the
output and export turnover of catfish, Vietnamese tra and basa fish products,
which have been present in 125 markets, still bear the brands of importers when
they enter the US
market. This explains why few US
consumers know that these are the products of Vietnam.
Of course, the fact that
Vietnamese products cannot bear Vietnamese brands has led to the loss of
multi-billion dollars to Vietnamese enterprises. Though Vietnam has been well aware of the
importance of the branding strategy, it still does not succeed in building up
Vietnam, like Columbia, is a
big coffee exporter, but Columbia’s
coffee has been well known in the world. Dr Tran Le Hong from the National
Office of Intellectual Property (NOIP), said that a federation of Columbian
coffee growers was established in 1927, which then rapidly opened marketing
offices in New York and London. In 1960, the organization hired a New
York-based company to build a strategy on doing the marketing in the US
market, and then organized marketing activities continuously from 1960s to
1980s in the market.
As a result, Columbian
coffee has been well known among US consumers and become one of the five
leading brands recognized by consumers.
The good branding strategy
has helped Columbia export 10-12 million bags of coffee a year, though Columbia
only has 527,000 growers, while Uganda, which has 1.25 million growers, can
only export three million bags a year. Especially, Columbian coffee is even
more expensive than Brazilian products.
Experts and government
agencies have urged enterprises to draw up detailed strategies to develop their
brands in long term. Nguyen Thanh Bien, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade,
said that as Vietnam
has become the biggest or the second biggest exporter of many kinds of
products, especially pepper, rice, coffee and cashew nuts, and it needs to pay
more attention to build up brands which allow obtaining high added values and
sustainable export growth.
Thinh has urged government
agencies and enterprises to take full advantage of the lawsuit raised by the US
against Vietnamese tra fish, which has made Vietnamese tra fish more famous, to
build a tra fish collective brand.
However, the experts and
government agencies have admitted that this would be really a difficult task;
therefore, Vietnamese enterprises need the support from the State. The Vietnam
Trade Promotion Agency under the Ministry of Industry and Trade has revealed
that the national branding development program is cooperating with business
associations, to consider applying the model on collective brand development.
Besides, the agency will also help enterprises in protecting the intellectual
property of Vietnamese products in order to increase the recognition of foreign
consumers about Vietnamese products.