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10 Stuff Vietnamese Distributors Want When Dealing With Brands

In Vietnam’s rapidly growing consumer market, foreign brands looking to expand their presence can benefit greatly from partnering with local distributors. However, to successfully enter the Vietnamese market, foreign brands must understand the expectations and requirements of Vietnamese distributors. In this article, we will discuss the top 10 things that Vietnamese distributors look for when dealing with foreign brands.

1. Samples for FREE

Samples play a critical role in convincing distributors to take on a new product. By providing a sample, distributors can get a hands-on experience with the product, understand its features and benefits, and determine whether it fits with their target audience. Samples can also help them to identify any potential issues that may arise with the product, allowing them to address these concerns before launching it in the market.

For example, the South Korean beauty brand, Innisfree, provides samples of its popular skincare products to Vietnamese distributors. These samples include the brand’s Green Tea Seed Serum, Orchid Enriched Cream, and Jeju Volcanic Pore Clay Mask. By providing samples, Innisfree allows distributors to test and evaluate the quality of the products before committing to a purchase. This helps to build trust and loyalty with distributors, who are more likely to continue to purchase products from the brand if they are satisfied with the quality.

By providing samples to distributors, brands can build trust and loyalty, showcase the quality of their products, and generate buzz and excitement around their brand.

It’s very important that samples are provided and shipped to Vietnam at NO COST. Charging distributors for samples shows your unwillingness to cooperate and to invest in Vietnam.

2. All brochures and information in Vietnamese

Vietnamese is the official language of Vietnam, and it is important for foreign brands to be able to communicate effectively with their local distributors. Therefore, the vast majority of distributors in Vietnam want international brands to provide information about their products and services in Vietnamese so that they can understand and effectively promote them to Vietnamese consumers.

One example of a brand that provides explanations in Vietnamese for distributors in Vietnam is the Japanese skincare brand, Shiseido. Shiseido provides detailed information about its products, including ingredient lists, benefits, and usage instructions, in Vietnamese on its website and marketing materials. This helps distributors to effectively communicate the benefits of the products to potential customers, building trust and loyalty with both the distributor and the consumer.

One suggestion would be to work with a professional translator who is fluent in both English and Vietnamese. This will ensure that those explanations are accurately and clearly conveyed to your distributors.

Another option would be to use translation software or services to provide automated translations of explanations. However, it’s important to note that automated translations can sometimes be inaccurate or unclear, so it’s important to review and edit the translations before sharing them with the local distributors.

3. Fast Fast Fast Response

In Vietnam, business moves at a fast pace. Distributors often have tight deadlines and need to move quickly to keep up with the fast-paced market, and delays in communication can cause missed opportunities and lost sales. That explains why Vietnamese distributors expect foreign brands to be responsive and react quickly to their requests and inquiries. Brands that are slow to respond risk losing out to competitors who are more responsive and efficient.

For instance, when Apple launched its new iPhone 12 series in Vietnam, it faced some supply chain issues that delayed the shipment of products to distributors. However, Apple quickly responded to the situation by providing regular updates to distributors and working closely with them to find alternative solutions to ensure that products were delivered on time.

4. Widely-known Brands

Vietnamese consumers are very brand-conscious, and Vietnamese distributors want to work with foreign brands that have a good reputation and strong brand recognition. These brands are seen as more trustworthy and credible by Vietnamese consumers, who are increasingly focused on quality and authenticity when making purchasing decisions.

Already famous brands save distributors a lot of money to educate the market and do marketing for the products. Or else, brands should have some marketing and advertising support budget to distributors if they ask for.

A vivid example of a good brand reputation in Vietnam is L’Oreal, which has been operating in Vietnam since 2000 and has built a strong presence in the market through partnerships with local distributors and effective marketing campaigns. The brand is known for its high-quality products and innovative technologies and has a loyal customer base in Vietnam. Maybelline is another example of a foreign brand with a strong reputation and brand recognition in Vietnam. Maybelline is known for its trendy and affordable products, which appeal to Vietnamese consumers who are increasingly interested in experimenting with different makeup looks. The brand has a strong presence in both traditional and online retail channels and has built a loyal following among Vietnamese consumers.

5. Provide Attractive Brochures

Attractive and informative brochures can help to differentiate a product from competitors in the market and create a positive impression in the minds of Vietnamese consumers. In a market where consumers are increasingly focused on quality and authenticity, well-designed brochures can help to establish a brand’s credibility and enhance its reputation. As a result, Vietnamese distributors really want foreign brands to provide appealing  brochures that can be used to promote the brand and its products to Vietnamese consumers

One example of a foreign brand that provides attractive and informative brochures in Vietnam, La Roche-Posay, which provides detailed brochures that explain the benefits and features of its products in Vietnamese. The brochures also include information on the brand’s history and philosophy, which helps to establish its credibility and reputation among Vietnamese consumers. In addition, the American makeup brand, MAC, is known for providing engaging brochures that showcase its products and provide tips on how to use them to achieve different makeup looks. The brand’s brochures are designed with bold, eye-catching graphics and provide detailed information on each product’s ingredients, benefits, and usage instructions.

6. Nice Videos

Vietnamese distributors want foreign brands to provide high-quality videos because they are an effective way to showcase products and create brand awareness in the Vietnamese market. Videos can provide a more dynamic and immersive experience for viewers, allowing them to see products in action and get a better sense of their features and benefits. Furthermore, videos can be easily shared on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram, which are increasingly popular among Vietnamese consumers. This can help to reach a wider audience and create a buzz around a brand’s products.

For example, Maybelline, the American makeup brand, has created a series of tutorial videos featuring local influencers such as Naomi, Yenji, tlinh to showcase its products and provide makeup tips to Vietnamese consumers. The videos are designed to be eye-catching and melodic, thus being shared widely on social media platforms to create buzz and generate interest in the brand’s products.

Some distributors will do marketing for brands themselves. It means they will produce videos to serve local customers. However, if brands are strong in videos, this can save distributors a lot of cost as well as make distributors excited about your products.

7. Active on Facebook or Instagram

Social media is an essential tool for brands to engage with their customers and promote their products in Vietnam. This is the reason why Vietnamese distributors prefer to work with brands that have an active presence on social media, particularly on Facebook and Instagram, which are the most popular social media platforms in the country.

For instance, cosmetics brands such as L’Oreal have a strong presence on social media in Vietnam, where it shares product information, beauty tips, and behind-the-scenes glimpses of their campaigns and events. The brand also collaborates with local influencers to create content that resonates with Vietnamese consumers and responds to customer inquiries and feedback in real-time. These frequent activities on social media help L’Oreal become more trustworthy to local distributors, thus building a stronger relationship with them and gain valuable insights into the Vietnamese market.

 So, how brands can utilize these social media platforms to become more trustworthy in the eye of local distributors? Follow these steps below:

  • Determine the right social media platforms: Brands should determine which social media platforms are most popular among their target audience in Vietnam and focus their efforts on those platforms. For example, Facebook and Instagram are widely used in Vietnam, so brands should consider having a presence on these platforms.
  • Develop a content strategy: Brands should develop a content strategy that is tailored to their target audience in Vietnam. This strategy should include a mix of promotional content, educational content, and engaging content to keep their followers interested and engaged.
  • Post regularly: Brands should aim to post regularly on social media to keep their followers engaged and interested. The frequency of posts will depend on the platform and the type of content being shared, but brands should aim to post at least a few times per week.
  • Engage with followers: Brands should actively engage with their followers by responding to comments and messages, liking and sharing user-generated content, and participating in conversations on social media. This can help to build a stronger relationship with customers and create a sense of community around the brand.

Brands don’t need goods available on the shelf to start doing social media marketing for Vietnam market. You can do everything to make your brand known by Vietnamese people without actually selling products yet. If you have testimonials proving how your products are loved by social media, distributors will be interested in importing your products.

8. Successful in other Asian countries

Vietnamese distributors often look to brands that have been successful in other Asian countries, as it suggests that the brand has experience and expertise in selling products in the region. Besides, success in other Asian countries can also help to build trust and credibility with Vietnamese distributors and consumers.

For example, when Xiaomi entered the Vietnamese market, it leveraged its success in other Asian countries, such as China and India, to build credibility with local distributors and consumers. This helped it quickly establish a strong presence in the market and become one of the leading smartphone brands in Vietnam.

Moreover, when it comes to cosmetics and beauty products, Korean beauty brands have been very successful in other Asian countries, including Vietnam. Distributors in Vietnam have been eager to work with these brands because they have a strong reputation for quality and effectiveness in other markets. By partnering with these brands, Vietnamese distributors can tap into the growing demand for Korean beauty products in Vietnam and capitalize on the popularity of Korean culture among Vietnamese consumers.

9. Having many Awards

 Awards are a great way for brands to showcase their products’ quality and innovation to distributors and customers and Vietnamese distributors have a high opinion of brands that have won awards. Not only do awards demonstrate that the brand has been recognized by industry experts and peers for its quality, innovation, or other notable achievements but they can also differentiate the brand from competitors in the market. This can build credibility and trust in the brand among Vietnamese customers, making it easier for distributors to promote and sell the products.

By partnering with an award-winning brand, distributors can showcase their ability to identify and bring in high-quality products that meet the needs and preferences of Vietnamese consumers. For example, Japanese skincare brand Shiseido has won numerous awards for its products and innovation, including the prestigious “Best of Beauty” award from Allure magazine. Vietnamese distributors who work with Shiseido can use these awards as a selling point to differentiate the brand from competitors and build trust with customers.

10. A lot of Marketing support

Vietnamese distributors highly value brands that provide them with marketing support, such as advertising and promotional materials, also a lot of gifts and samples. This can help to increase brand awareness and drive sales, making it easier for distributors to sell the product to their customers. Besides, it also saves them time and resources in developing their own marketing materials. By receiving ready-made materials from the brand, they can focus on other aspects of their business, such as distribution and sales.

What’s more important is that marketing support can help to ensure a consistent and cohesive brand message across different markets and channels of local distributors . When the brand provides marketing support, they can ensure that their branding, messaging, and visuals are aligned with their overall brand strategy. This can help to build a stronger brand identity and increase brand recognition among Vietnamese consumers. For example, when Samsung introduced its new Galaxy A series smartphones in Vietnam, it provided distributors with a range of marketing support, including advertising materials, in-store displays, and promotions. This helped to generate buzz and excitement around the product, making it easier for distributors to sell the product to their customers.


In conclusion, Vietnamese distributors have specific expectations when dealing with foreign brands. When these expectations are fulfilled, foreign brands are certain to build strong, long-lasting partnerships that benefit both parties. Through collaboration, brands and distributors can work together to bring high-quality products to Vietnamese consumers and drive growth in the market. However, brands must make sure of the way of finding local distributors in Vietnam. Not sure where to start? Have a look at this article:

Need a local distributor to promote your products and reach a wider range of customers? Contact us!

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