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Study highlights importance of brand-building in tough economy

Jul 06. 2016
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BRAND-BUILDING remains a more crucial strategy than price promotions amid the current economic slowdown in the effort to form long-term trust between brands and consumers, according to market research firm Kantar Worldpanel.
“Besides creating the trust of the brand, the company should give more value for consumers even if other brands offer the same price,” Howard Chang, managing director of Kantar Worldpanel (Thailand), said yesterday. 
He pointed to Dutch Mill, Nescafe, Colgate and Breeze as examples of brands that were successful in building trust last year when the Thai economy was struggling. 
Those brands were ranked at the top of their respective key-product categories, according to Kantar Worldpanel’s 2015 “Brand Footprint Report”. Nescafe was No 1 in the beverage category, Dutch Mill milk in the food category, Colgate toothpaste in health and beauty products, and Breeze detergent in consumer products. In the retail business category, 7-Eleven was the top choice. 
Chang said the report was based on a survey last year of 4,000 households. Apart of the population factor, the market research firm also took product penetration and frequency of purchase into account. 
The company found that another implication in Thai market was that local brands had fast recovered despite hard hitting from negative conditions recently. 
Supachramanee Srivali, marketing director of Dutch Mill, one of Thailand’s largest dairy producers, said the company had to adapt its business direction and strategy to changes in the market, particularly a digitised ecosystem. 
“We have to learn how to use and analyse consumer insight for product development and communication strategic planning. Big data is key to dealing with the challenges ahead,” she said. 
The 7-Eleven brand is another case reflecting that retailers should understand changes in market situations and consumer behaviour. 
Yuthasak Poomsurakul, senior vice president for marketing and merchandising at CP All, the operator of 7-Eleven stores, acknowledged that the chain’s more than 9,000 branches nationwide must act as a bridge between brands and suppliers and consumers in each location.
“We have to be ready for changes in population demography. What is the prominent group in the market? How do we provide the right products for the right consumers in the right location?” he explained. 
Apart from understanding consumer insight, the company continues to establish new branches along with conducting employee training. Having its own distribution centre is another key. 

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