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5 Best tips to market your brand in Vietnam

Vietnam’s traditional advertising and marketing centered around billboards, television, and radio. The ever-evolving technology has transformed the way businesses market their products.

Today, more than 70% of Vietnam’s internet users are online. 78% of Vietnam’s total population uses social media. Moreover, the number one reason Vietnamese use social media is to research brands, products, and services. This instantly shifts how businesses launch campaigns, from traditional to digital. 

Penetrating the Vietnamese market is no easy feat. Just 30 years ago Vietnam closed its doors to international businesses. It was only in 2021 that it became one of the largest international consumer markets. Today, it is ranked as the 5th country with the highest internet penetration rate. International brands must take this opportunity to introduce their products to the local market.

In this article, GMA will share tips on how to leverage new technologies to advertise in Vietnam. If you want to learn how to market your business in Vietnam, you came to the right place. Let’s take a look!

Tip #1: PUT YOURSELF IN YOUR AUDIENCE’S SHOES: know your audience’s culture, behavior, and demographics

Vietnam’s history goes back over 4,000 years ago. This makes tradition extremely important for the Vietnamese people. It is crucial to understand what Vietnam’s people like and dislike when international businesses enter their market.

Past advertisements that failed to reflect the Vietnamese way of living are examples of this. Brands that don’t reflect Vietnamese beliefs are extremely sensitive to Vietnamese consumers. This could lead to consumer discomfort and boycotting.

A Vietnamese energy drink is an example of an advertisement that has received criticism. This brand launched a TV commercial entitled “Mình uống đi, cho khỏe (Drink up and stay strong, honey)” which told a story of a couple. The guy in this commercial drinks the brand’s energy drink to “boost his stamina”, which implies that sexual activities will follow. The citizens criticized this commercial for exposing Vietnamese children to explicit and inappropriate content.

The advertisement was criticized

Besides knowing what the Vietnamese believe in, their demographics and consumer behavior are important factors. Studies show that the Vietnamese household is getting smaller by the day and that senior citizens have increased consumption.

It is also known that Vietnamese internet users are very active. This information alone is not enough. You must also identify the platforms they use most often. Facebook, Zalo, and TikTok are the most popular platforms used by Vietnamese internet users. Brands should adapt their digital campaigns to take advantage of these social media platforms.

Tip #2 – MAKE YOUR CONTENT RELEVANT: you must show your audience that they are important in your advertising and marketing campaign.

Translations are not the only thing that localizes marketing content. Although language translation is essential, it only scratches the surface. Localization means that your business has tailored your campaign to the Vietnamese audience. This means that you don’t use the same techniques in Vietnam as you do elsewhere. This shows that you pay attention to your audience and are listening. You want to tailor their needs.

Here are some notes from Dove’s Vietnam campaign. As a well-known and familiar brand with campaigns to promote confidence and celebrate true beauty, on International Women’s Day, Dove chose to send a message about her own beauty. actively through the series “Freedom to love hair, confident to be me”.

Launched this 3 minutes TVC and expressed through the lovely drawings of artist X.Lan, the series “borrowed” from a merchant depicts realistic images of women in modern society. They sometimes lack confidence in their appearance, skin, hair, etc. when they follow idealized models on social networks or “unnamed standards” but forget their own beauty. With the message of honoring her own distinct beauty, Dove wants women to understand that: Whether it is simple, rustic hair, youthful personality, or true freedom, no matter how “out of standard” appearance. Women should be confident with their truest things, love their “flaws” and create their own “standards” – that is the moment when you are the most beautiful in the eyes of the “lovers” around.

Launched in 2004 at the age of nearly 20 years, Dove’s Real Beauty campaign has always accompanied women on the journey to realize their own “true beauty”. The brand has empowered many women, encouraging them to believe in their beauty and respect their differences.

To drive sales, your audience must first visualize themselves using your product. Your marketing campaign should answer these questions: “How does this product assist me in my daily life?” “Does it meet my needs?”

Tip #3: TICKLE THEIR SENSES: explore the rising trend of music advertisements

Music is a passion for the Vietnamese. They search YouTube for “karaoke” and spend two hours per day listening to radio and music streaming sites. Marketing campaigns that use catchy songs that Vietnamese cannot get out of their heads are also growing in popularity.

Dove collaborated with the famous singer, Trang, and composed a song whose message inspired women all over Vietnam. The commercial encouraged women to be themselves, to feel freedom in telling their stories, and to just embrace who they are. This ad garnered positive comments from Vietnamese women, saying that Dove produced good music and quality content.

Music is an international language that everyone can understand. Businesses are encouraged to be creative by this emerging trend in Vietnam. The visuals of a brand campaign must be considered, but so must the senses of touch, smell, taste, hearing, and touch of the audience.

Tip #4: CORPORATE WITH IMPACTFUL PEOPLE: find out who the audience trusts and work with them

In Asia, influencer marketing is a dominant marketing trend. Because of their authenticity, brands are choosing to use influencers to market their products. People see influencers as people they can relate to and understand. Influencers who recommend products to their followers are trusted. These opinions influence the consumption decisions of their followers.

Customer reviews and social media engagement are the two most important online purchasing drivers in Vietnam. The Vietnamese market is very open to public and popular opinions when it comes down to products. They value real experiences and not hard-selling ads. Virtually 36% of Vietnam’s internet users use social media to search for new products.

These consumer habits show that authentic content, social media platforms, and influencers are the best way to market products in 2022. Influencers are becoming more popular on social media, which can help increase exposure and convert new businesses in Vietnam. Learn more about Vietnam’s influencers by reading GMA’s list of the top influencers here!

Brands in Vietnam are already using this strategy, serving as successful examples for those just entering the market. One good example is the campaign by VUS.

VUS is Vietnam’s leading English learning center. VUS partnered with micro-influencers, and young mothers to promote their programs and courses. They asked them to bring their children along for the experience. VUS gained more attention and traction when the influencers shared their honest reviews via Facebook. In just four weeks, the campaign had more than 150,000 followers on VUS’ Facebook page and attracted 24,852 engagements.

VUS demonstrated to its audience that it is trustworthy because VUS has been trusted by mothers who follow them on social media. This campaign is a great example of how influencer marketing works when brands select the right influencers.

When choosing an influencer, it is crucial to suit the influencer size to your campaign objective. If your target is to increase conversions, you can choose micro and nano influencers. Micro and nano influencers have a better engagement rate of up to 7% and are less expensive. These influencers have higher conversion rates due to their organic involvement, whereas celebrities and KOLs are fantastic for branding and raising awareness.

Tip #5: WORK WITH THOSE ON THE GROUND: find a local partner who knows the Vietnam market inside and out

Businesses can make it easier to implement tips 1 through 4 by partnering with a local agency. Why not partner with an agency that is familiar with the market? Effective marketing strategies can be achieved by working with local people who are in your target market.

Here are just a few reasons the search for a business partner in Vietnam is all worth it:

  • Navigating the Vietnamese market and overcoming business culture differences more easily.
  • Adding value to the business with different perspectives, know-how, and network.
  • Bringing capital to the business.
  • Avoiding red tape and overcoming the language barrier.
  • Assisting in creating an exit strategy.
  • Adding additional skills and talents that your business may not have.
  • Supporting your business strategy and keeping you motivated with the same vision

CONCLUSION

A business hoping to expand in Vietnam needs to plan and think about each step. Vietnam offers a vast international market, but it also comes with its own challenges. Businesses must be able to research about, relate to, and influence the audience by using strategies popular in Vietnam. With this, GMA believes that it can find the best partner in Vietnam and create innovative marketing campaigns for foreign companies. 

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