Firms urged to focus on branding
Vietnamese enterprises, especially small- and medium-sized ones, should develop their brands to increase their competitiveness amid the process of integration, a seminar heard in HCM City on Thursday.
Le Ngoc Lam, deputy director of the Department of Intellectual Properties, said: “Brand is for long recognised as an intangible asset of enterprises, plays an important role in enterprise development and is a decisive factor in the success of enterprises.”
Economist Le Dang Doanh said in the context of integration, enterprises’ brands and products were representative images of their countries. For instance, Boeing and Microsoft are representative images of the US’s technological achievementsm, he said.
“A strong and competitive economy would have many large businesses with strong international brands.”
Brand development is not a strength of Vietnamese firms, and only large corporations like Vinamilk, Vingroup and Viettel have done it, he said.
Viet Nam is among the largest exporters of farm produce and seafood, but not many foreign consumers know they are using products from Viet Nam, he said.
That is because these products are exported without brand names on the packaging, he said.
Household businesses still account for 32 per cent of the country’s GDP. Businesses in this sector have not registered their brands while their competitive capacity in the international market is very low, he said.
He noted that when Ben Tre Candy exported to China, a Chinese company had already registered the Ben Tre Candy brand.
In many cases even large Vietnamese players like Trung Nguyen Coffee and Vinamit had not registered their brands abroad and were appropriated in some foreign markets, costing them much time and money to retrieve them, he said.
As Viet Nam integrates deeper into the regional and global economies, its enterprises must not only compete with each other but also with companies from all over the world, but without good brand names, enterprises would find it hard to compete, Pham Le Cuong, CEO of the Vietnam Certification Centre, said.
Ensuring consistent quality is a key factor in having good and sustainable brand names, he said.
According to delegates, many enterprises do not have proper awareness and understanding of the role of brand names in their development.
Some think brand building is just for big enterprises and not necessary for SMEs, they said.
Some care about brand building but assume it is done by merely to pouring money into advertising to make customers know about them, they said.
Lam said: “To build, protect and develop brands, companies must invest scientifically and methodically in all stages in building standardised production processes, market development, communication, and marketing to promote products and brands so that consumers knows about and recognise their brands.”
At the seminar, titled “Building enterprises’ brands and economic development during the time of integration,” many enterprises shared their experience in building brands.
The event was organised by the Research Centre for Developing Vietnamese Brands, Thuong hieu Viet magazine and the Department of Intellectual Properties.