Foreign food brands attract most loyalty in Vietnam
recognition and loyalty in Vietnam with the exception of one local
company, according to new research.
A survey of around 4,000 consumers in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh city assessed consumers' emotional affinity with products from 10 different categories, including food and drink, mobile phones and life insurance. Nokia, Dutch Lady, Cool Air Wrigley's, Panadol, Coca Cola, Kinh Do, Alpenliebe, Doublemint, Prudential and Sony came out as the 10 strongest brands according to the research tool developed by UK market research firm Millward Brown were. Vietnamese confectionery company Kinh Do stood out as the only local firm to make the top 10. However other food and drink brands including Vinamilk, 333 Beer and vacuum-packed foodstuffs firm Deltafood were among 10 brands identified by the company as those with the strongest future growth potential. Denise Mullett, responsible for the survey at Millard Brown's partner in Vietnam, Customer Insights, said the dominance of foreign brands reflected market development in the south-east Asian country. "Typically foreign brands spend a lot of money on above the line activities with major advertising campaigns, while local companies are more focused on price and promotions," she told AP-Foodtechnology.com. "It's still a market where foreign brands are aspirational. Even in food and drink, there is a significant price differential between foreign and local brands," she added. In a seminar to present the research the company said that even brands with the highest market share do not necessarily have the highest brand equity. For example Vinamilk has the highest share in the ready-to-drink milks segment but the research found the brand to lack an emotional connection with consumers. In contrast, Kinh Do has strong brand loyalty helped by good distribution and diversification of the brand, as well as heavy customization of the product offering at the outlet. Millward Brown's brand equity measurement tool, Brand Dynamics, also looks at the depth of consumer loyalty to brands, assessing whether consumers see a brand as having advantages over others and better performance. Successful brands also follow the same strategy or message for many years and are consistent across all points of contact, claim the researchers. They point to five factors that determine the success of a brand name: emotional affinity, rational affinity, difference, leadership, popularity and price. Emotional affinity refers to the customers' satisfaction about a brand while rational affinity implies positive performance statements like 'healthy', 'better quality' and 'tastes good'. The leadership factor means the ability to become popular or set trends, and the price factor reflects value for money.