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Việt Nam’s SMEs pay insufficient attention to brand building

Update: May, 06/2017 - 09:00
Tô Hoài Nam
Viet Nam News

Vice Chairman and General Secretary of the Việt Nam Association of Small and Medium Enterprises Tô Hoài Nam tells the Công thương (Industry and Trade) newspaper about brand building in Việt Nam

What is the role of branding in the development of enterprises, particularly when Việt Nam is integrating deeper into the global economy?

Brand plays important role in enterprise development. Without brand names, enterprises can not have good and stable business environment. For example, Việt Nam is said to be the biggest coffee producer in the world, but Vietnamese coffee has yet to gain its worthy position in international markets. Việt Nam’s coffee is usually priced low. Meanwhile, many countries that import Vietnamese coffee can sell coffee at much higher prices after pinning their brand names on the products.

Of course, the low price can be explained by the fact that Việt Nam exports raw materials and its processing technology is modest. However, it’s clear that brand name decisively shapes the price of a product.

As Việt Nam is integrating deeper into regional and global economy, to survive, Việt Nam’s enterprises must not only compete with each other but also compete with companies from all over the world. Without good brand names, enterprises will find it hard to compete.

Which Vietnamese enterprises, particularly small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), are dealing with brand building?

As I see, many of Việt Nam’s enterprises, particularly SMEs, don’t care much about brand building. One of the key reasons is that the enterprises don’t have proper awareness and understanding of the role of brand names to their development. Some think that brand building is just for big enterprises and not necessary for SMEs. Some care about brand building, but they assume that brand building is merely to pour money into advertising to make customers know about them.

This is insufficient. To build a brand name, enterprises must be good at all stages from researching, producing products that fit customers’ taste to improving quality and design of the products and even performing well in post-sale customer service.

Moreover, in the current integration context, enterprises must pay more attention to the environment and business culture.

What can the Government do to help enterprises build strong brands?

Once a nation has strong brand names, its competitiveness will be increased. I think brand building is not only a matter of enterprises but also Government and agencies. The government should boost policies that create favourable conditions for businesses to access land for production and provide information on domestic and overseas markets.

Enterprises themselves should be more active in registering product labels and copyrights of their products. Many enterprises are complaining that procedures to do such work consume too much time. So, to lend a hand, relevant agencies should issue detailed instructions so that enterprises can register their product labels more conveniently. — VNS

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