Partnerships for South-East Asia Emerging Brands
The number of homegrown South-East Asian brands is growing at a rapid rate. From Pomelo Fashion in Thailand to Love, Bonito in Singapore, to Zalora’s private label, Poplook in Malaysia, homegrown brands are taking the global stage. All of them sell out in the region and are at least 70% successful. Moreover, as a result of their success, there is now a plethora of marketing partnerships for MNCs in the region.
Gen Zers’ opinions on brand purpose vary by country
According to a new study, nearly half of Southeast Asian Gen Zers look for a brand’s purpose and values before purchasing. While many brands are guilty of lumping these consumers into a single group, the truth is that their views on brand purpose are diverse and may differ from other regions in the region. According to a study by DeVries Global, a Singapore-based consultancy, consumers in Indonesia and the Philippines are more likely to agree that a brand should have a social conscience than their counterparts in Thailand or Singapore.
Although their opinions about brand purpose may differ, one common theme was the concern for the environment and social responsibility. Sixty-one percent of Gen Zers in Indonesia and 76 percent in Vietnam preferred a socially and environmentally responsible brand. As the study notes, these segments are more likely to pay extra for brands that support social and environmental causes. This may be due to the fact that many brands focus their efforts on ensuring a brand’s social responsibility is the same as that of their core business.
ASEAN’s unique supply chain advantages
Despite the challenges that the global supply chain presents, ASEAN countries still hold key positions in a number of industries. With its unique supply chain advantages, ASEAN countries are exploring opportunities to rebound from the recent global economic downturn by shifting production away from China and towards Southeast Asia. This is particularly important given the region’s low labor costs, which are one of the driving factors behind the economic recovery in China.
While infrastructure in many Southeast Asian countries has improved, many of the ports are not up to international standards. As a result, freight transportation operating costs can be high, especially for perishable exports. However, with the right planning tools, ASEAN shipping costs can be reduced to a considerable extent. Although some small logistics firms are wary of the initial cost of adopting new technologies, they should keep in mind that ASEAN is not a single market.
COVID-19 has changed the playing field for marketing partnerships in Southeast Asia
For many brands, marketing partnerships are an integral part of their growth strategy. Partnerships can help companies expand their customer bases, meet growth objectives, and increase revenues. WARC Asia Editor Gabey Goh examines the recent changes brought about by COVID-19 and what this means for marketing partnerships. For example, Watsons has partnered with Grab to expand its online presence in Southeast Asia, while IKEA has partnered with a Singapore renovation company to launch a home remodeling business.
As a result of COVID-19, ASEAN and the U.S. have decided to collaborate more closely on countering the socio-economic impact of the new trade policy. While the ASEAN-U.S. Foreign Ministers’ Meeting on Covid-19 was conducted via video conference, the collaboration includes countering the socio-economic impacts of the new trade policy. The results of this collaboration should help ASEAN and the U.S. develop stronger marketing partnerships in Southeast Asia.
Opportunities for MNCs in South-East Asia
In order to maximize growth and capture economies of scale, MNCs should prioritize ASEAN countries based on their competitive advantages. They should assess the quality of infrastructure, availability of talent, access to finance, and tax burden. As the ASEAN market is fragmented and geographically large, few companies have an in-depth understanding of the region. A well-planned regional strategy will help MNCs capture economies of scale in customer segmentation, product localization, and sales channel efficiency.
While the ASEAN region presents tremendous business opportunities, it is not without its challenges. There are huge ethnic, religious, and governing ideologies among the ASEAN countries. There are also issues of legal and physical infrastructure, and questionable business practices. Corruption and cronyism make for a challenging environment for foreign enterprises. Despite this, the ASEAN region is emerging as a hotbed for international brands.