Companies urged to focus on branding

A long-term strategy based on the country's competitive advantages is critical for national branding, experts urged.
A long-term strategy based on the country's competitive advantages is critical for national branding, experts urged.

According to Le Tuong Van, a strategy consultant, competitive advantages should be improved to develop Vietnamese brands. This is critical for increasing the added values of products and services. Van said that national branding required the participation of both the government and the enterprises.

The Government should formulate a long-term national branding strategy and provide support to enterprises with leading brands to conquer the regional and global markets, and to build brands at the international level, she said.

Currently, many Vietnamese brands cannot reach the international level due to the lack of a national strategy, experts said, pointing out that many products are exported without branding, while many low-quality products exported under Vietnamese brand names are destroying the nation's prestige and leading to low added value.

Stephen Kreppel, an expert in nation branding in the Nation Consultancy, said at a recent conference that exports were important in national branding.

Brands could be built with sustainable economic development, environment-friendly policies and social responsibility, together with natural and cultural heritage and national pride.

Pham Thi Thu Hang, General Director of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), said that Vietnamese enterprises should invest more in branding based on their knowledge of the customers' demands.

During global integration, branding is becoming an urgent issue for businesses. However, many enterprises in the country did not pay adequate attention to brand development as they were not well aware of the importance of branding or faced financial shortages, experts said.

Nguyen Quoc Thinh, professor at the University of Trade, said that developing brands without a strategy could be a "danger". He pointed out that many Vietnamese firms did not have their own branding strategies.

Facts show that firms that have successfully developed their brands have had methodical strategies.

According to Hang, it is important that firms pay attention to enhancing the quality of products and services to develop brands.

Tom Vu, a senior expert of the Masso Group, said that Vietnamese businesses should associate with each other to develop brands for each sector and industry to enhance competitiveness.

Branding should focus on sectors with competitive advantages, including agriculture, tourism and fisheries, he added.

The National Branding Programme, approved by the Prime Minister in 2003, aimed to promote the national image and national brand through branded products.-VNA

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