1. Asian Companies Believe Brand Building Is A Luxury and Not A Necessity :
When push comes to shove , the brand always gets shoved by Asian companies . In other words , most Asian companies believe that 'building a brand is an expensive luxury that can wait" as one of my clients quite eloquently put it.
Nothing can be further than the truth . In fact, not building your brand in Asia is an even more expensive luxury because every product of service in Asia gets commoditised at the speed of thought , thanks to China for products and India for services and therefore any marginal advantage is quickly neutralised and even surpassed.
That means , your product or service very quickly gets relegated to being a "me too" and as a result , there is no real reason why any customer should buy or prefer your product. That seriously jeopardises a company's survival in Asia because there is no real customer preference. So the natural outcome of this is a self-destructive price cutting frenzy by most Asian companies. So the conclusion is very simple. In Asia, branding is an obsolute necessity even to survive because , if you are not a strong brand , you are a commodity !
2. Asian Companies Continue to Think In Terms of Products and Manufacturing and Not Brands :
This approach is a sure fire recipe for disaster particularly in a flat knowledge-based economy. In the new economy , it is not the big guys or even the fast guys that will win. It is the smart guys that will win.
This has been one of the single biggest reasons why "Asian companies are product centric and not brand centric". You can see the product , but you cannot see the brand. Unfortunately , you can copy what you can see but you cannot copy what you cannot see!
That's probably why United Airlines or Air France can buy the same planes as Singapore Airlines . But they cannot copy 'the Singapore Girl". Another more local example would be Creative technologies Zen Vs Apple's IPOD. In this case , Zen is a far superior product . It even has far more features. But it is an inferior brand by a long stretch. So , as President Clinton would have to put , "it is the intangible, stupid!"
3. Asian Companies Do Not Understand Their Customers As Well As Global Western Companies Do:
It is quite unbelievable how much effort and money is invested by global brands such as IBM , McDonald's , AMEX , Unilever etc, to research and understand their customers in Asia. For instance , Dove has captured the imagination of all women with its "real beauty campaign". But , its success is not just the result of cute and likeable creative campaign , but a lot of hard work in understanding its customers and understanding Asian woman's hair and skin! I can probably speculate that Dove knows more about Asian women and about Asian hair or skin tahn any other Asian brand in the same category.
In my experience, most Asian companies are extremely complacent and think they know their customers. Many of them don't. And most of them don't invest enough money researching their customers or their brands. Research is often scarificed for gut instinct. In a study commissioned by the International Enterprises Singapore , it was found that nearly 60% of Asian brands did not bother to research or measure their brand. I found this very unsettling because , you really cannot manage a brand if you do not measure it.
This is a dangerous trend . That is because when it comes to building brands, knowledge (and insight) is power. And in todays' world , it is not a "battle between the haves and the have nots", but the "knows and knows not".
4. Branding Through Testosterone And Instinct :
Yes . That captures the basic strategy of most Asian companies when it comes to brand building. There is simply too much premium placed on getting things done in record time without proper due diligence . You have to go to China to fully experience this unique approach to brand building !
Ready, Fire, Aim! Is a strategy that works best in exceptional circumstances when there is no competition or where the opportunity is green field and needs to be exploited urgently. But this approach can only be the exception and never the rule. But for many Asian companies , this is the primary method in which they build their brand and even business. Everyone seems to be in a "giant emergency mode".
This is a highly debilitating and dysfunctional way to create or build anything , let alone brands. One of my Maaysian clients was not joking when he told me " Lets not strategise too much , we have no time for it".
5. Brands Are Seen As An Expense And Not As An Asset By Most Asian Companies:
Brand are assets . Most Global MNCs realise that. That's why they protect their assets and believe them to be sacrosanct. That's why IP is so valued . Most Asian companies do not realise that brands today have a value that in many instances exceeds the tangible asset value of a company several time. An asset is anything you invest in that produces a regular return . But an expense is cost you incur . So the convulated logic is simple , there is no return when it comes to expenses, so why bother incurring them!
This is a dramatic paradigm shift that most Asian companies need to make. That's probably one of the fundamental reason why Asian companies do not value brand. You value assets but you can postpone an expense or cost. This is probably yet another reason why any expenditure on brands gets cut first.
6. Brands Are Built On Expensive Advertising Created By Advertising Agencies :
Secondly many advertising agencies are excellent at creating advertising but the reality is that they do not necessarily have the skill sets today to sungularly CREATE OR BUILD BRANDS.
So to believe that pure advertising can build brands, is a dangerous and expensive assumption to make.
7. Branding Is About Getting Your Logo Out There , Creating Slogans And Communicating Cool Thins About Your Product Or Company:
In a comprehensive study done by International Enterprises Singapore on brands from South East Asia, this was yet another disconcerting finding that was brilliantly amplified by one potential client who actually briefed us in the following way : "Lets create a cool slogan and campaign for our company ". Within a week after firing nearly 20% of his employees.
This is probably yet another imgrained myth about creating brands among Asian companies - they you build a brand based on what you say about yourself!
The reality is quite different . Brands that last are built on enduring values and on empeccable social and business conduct. That means " impeccable integrity at no matter what cost!". That means outstanding brands say what they mean and do what they say!
They are very few Asian brands that can meet this standard. One exceptional example is Infosys. The founding chairman and chief mentor , Narayamurthy , captured it is in his own inimitable style , when he said ; " I would rathe lose a billion dollars than a good nights' sleep!". Now that is probably one of the few Asian brands that is built to last.
In the final analysis, Asian companies do have a significant catching up to do because Asian consumers are becoming extremely brand conscious which probably means , if you are not a strong brand , you are not going to be in the phone book in the future.
Secondly , given the intense competition and the cheap manufacturing options available in Asia , the choice is very clear for most Asian companies , if they don't get on the brand wagon real fast , they are going to be nothing more than commodities in the short term and memories in long term!
Finally , Asia is where the opportunity lies and where the action is. So if Asian brands don't seize them , Global western brands will! r as one of my clients put it: " If you dont eat your lunch. Someone else will!"
Semuga artikle ini akan memberi sedikit pengetahuan bagaimana masalah "pengetahuan " mengenai Harta Intelek dan peranannya dalam sesebuah perniagaan , tidak boleh di anggap remeh. Ianya sebenarnya mencermin budaya sikap secara keseluruhan masyarakat ASIA apabila isu Harta Intelek tidak diletakkan ditempat sepatutnya jika dibandingkan dengan budaya Negara Barat yang terkenal dengan Budaya Mencipta dan Budaya Ilmu !
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