Interbrand releases ‘Growing Brands in Southeast Asia’ study

Tuesday, 27 March 2018 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Interbrand Singapore has released an original study on growing brands in Southeast Asia, exploring key challenges and opportunities for marketers looking to build strong brands in the region.

Interbrand surveyed 152 brand decision-makers from medium-to-large companies in Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, and the Philippines to understand how they are managing and activating their brands amidst rapid transformation driven by emerging technologies, economic integration and changing consumer behaviors.

According to Interbrand’s research, the region’s most successful brands and businesses are focusing on developing proficiency in three key areas.

“Tech companies like Grab are setting the agenda and leading change. They’re creating highly-localized, go-to-market strategies, which are competing and in some cases, outperforming global players, like Uber, within the region,” said Tristan Ramsdale, Executive Director of Strategy, Interbrand Singapore. “These companies are scaling quickly and have a simple user-experience at the core when building their brands and tell their stories.”

The nuances of the region present other challenges and opportunities for brands, Ramsdale explains in the report. For instance, with emerging technologies driving the speed of change in the region, brands must establish internal bench strength capabilities to adapt and execute quickly across all channels and touchpoints. Likewise, with new competition appearing in the marketplace every day, marketers must invest in their brands to maintain market share.

“Eighty-four percent of the brand decision-makers we surveyed believe increased competition is the greatest challenge as integration continues to gather pace in the region. Domestic brand decision makers looking to expand in the region need to develop in-depth learning and knowledge of Southeast Asia markets and customers to stay relevant,” said Ramsdale.

According to the study, it’s not just technology and regional integration that are the biggest challenges. Marketers are looking for help with delivering in real-time, engaging experiences across the entire journey—both online and offline. They are looking to make the transition from delivering customer experiences that meet minimum requirements to creating seamless branded experiences that exceed expectations and turn customers into advocates.

Jonathan Bernstein, Interbrand Singapore’s Managing Director, added, “Building a successful brand and telling its story in the marketplace starts with your people. Today, in Southeast Asia, it’s harder than ever to recruit and keep the best people, especially millennials, as they want to work for tech companies or startups that give them flexibility and purpose. Brands across the region, from Sea in Singapore to Go-Jek in Indonesia, have made social purpose a core part of their brands. As these companies expand in the region, having a purpose-driven proposition has become a powerful recruitment and retention tool. At the end of the day, if your people believe in what you do, your customers will, too.”