How can Vietnam’s brands shape the world? This was the topic for discussion during the Shape the World Conference – Vietnam held at the Duxton Hotel in Ho Chi Minh City in 2009 organised by Consulus Cato Partners and Singapore Informatics & Business Management Education Ltd.
Speaking at the conference, Lawrence Chong, Director for Strategy Development at Consulus Cato Partners, highlighted that 21st-century branding was more than just advertising and marketing.
According to Chong, in brand building it is crucial to delve into the company’s internal processes and customer relationships. By putting people at the core of the business strategies, companies are able to build brands that can connect with consumers, influence the way they live and ultimately shape the world.
In the case of Vietnam’s brands, they can compete with and differentiate themselves from western or global brands by tapping on their rich history and culture. Chong stressed that it is by being truthful to their brand promise that Vietnam brands can shine globally and not by copying how foreign companies brand themselves.
The participants also learned about the Three States methodology, the inside-out approach to branding developed by Consulus Cato Partners. This approach leverages on a brand’s existing fundamentals and starts with defining three critical states that can be used to build a strategic advantage:
- Ability. The brand’s greatest advantage, which can entail providing solutions for customers instead of just having an excellent product. Examples include good customer service, engagement and customisation.
- Influence. The brand’s greatest bonding with the consumers though scenarios, conversations and experiences.
- Differentiation. The brand’s greatest memorable and authentic cue that distinguish itself from the competitors.
The participants were given the chance to put the Three States methodology into practice by applying it to different case studies. Through the exercise, the participants gained a better understanding of the inside-out approach to branding and presented insights on how to use the framework creatively.