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Outlook bright for Thai products in CLMV markets

Aug 08. 2016
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Thai products enjoy competitive advantages and high opportunities in CLMV markets owing to consumer trust in good image and high quality
THE RAPIDLY growing consumer |markets of Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam – or CLMV – are becoming important places for exporters to pilot products before pursuing expansion to the broader 10-country Asean Economic Community. 
And that is good news for Thai |producers and exporters.
Based on data from a recent market survey conducted in CLMV countries by Havas Riverorchid, products from Thailand obtained high scores among consumers for trust in product origin, quality and image. 
The results reflect the competitive advantages of and high opportunities for Thai goods in the CLMV markets.
The survey was conducted at the beginning of last quarter to gain insight into consumer perceptions of products from nine sources including local producers plus imports from eight markets – Australia and New Zealand, China, Europe, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, the United States and Thailand. 
Respondents were asked to rate their trust in products on a scale of one to 10 based on three criteria – |origin, quality and image.
Data from the sample group of 2,016 (504 per country) showed |that products from Thailand received high trust scores across the board, on par with – and in some cases better than – those from Japan, the US and ANZ.
Asked to assess their trust in |products based on their origin, |respondents in Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar assigned a score of only |3 to local products, while those in Vietnam rated home-grown products at 5. 
As for their trust in local products based on quality and image, respondents assigned scores of 3-5. 
The scores for Chinese products were also low, ranging from 4-6 in all three categories. 
Products from other Asian and Western markets, in contrast, were rated from 7-9.
Thailand and Japan were the clear leaders in the CLMV, scoring 9 in more categories than their rivals, with no mark lower than 8. 
Consumers in Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar all gave Thai products a 9 for trust based on their origin, and Vietnamese consumers assigned a score of 8. 
Trust in the quality of Thai |products was rated 9 in Cambodia |and Myanmar. 
Vietnamese respondents’ trust in the quality of Thai products, at 8, was the same level as for South Korea and Europe, while they gave scores of 9 to Japan, the US and ANZ. 
Trust in the image of Thai products was rated at 9 in Cambodia, Myanmar and Vietnam.
The study showed that CLMV |consumers hold the highest trust in the image of Thai products, even ahead of merchandise from Japan. 
In Cambodia, Thai products were rated the same as those from Japan and South Korea. 
Vietnamese consumers have the same confidence in Thai products as they do for goods from Japan, the US and ANZ.
Havas Riverorchid Group suggests that brand owners from Thailand can be confident in entering the CLMV markets, even if they are not the leading brands there. 
Because of the high trust in Thai products, factories should consider stepping up production for export to the CLMV markets. 
However, it is important to |do brand-building at the same |time, along with marketing |activities.
Although Thailand has better opportunities in the CLMV markets than most other major exporting countries, to ensure successful |market entry, Thai entrepreneurs should study the markets in detail for in-depth insights into consumer demand.
There are certain opportunities for Thai entrepreneurs in CLMV before expanding in the AEC.
Santiphong Pimolsaengsuriya is CEO and founding partner of Havas Riverorchid Co, experts in marketing communication in CLMV, providing fully integrated services with the largest network in these fast growing markets. He can be reached at pick@havas-ro.com.

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