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Myanmar millennials put utility ahead of brand image: survey

Nov 17. 2017
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By The Nation

Thai investors in Myanmar’s consumer goods sectors should consider tapping into Myanmar’s millennials demographic as a strategy to grow sales and build long-term loyalty, according to a new consumer sentiment survey commissioned and released by PR company Vero.

Vero’s survey was conducted by Indochina Research, an independent market research company. 

Millennials in Myanmar have a strong preference for product functionality and a low preference for brand, relative to other Asean markets, it said.

A majority of Myanmar millennials (54 per cent) place product and service functionalities above all else – including the heritage of global brands.

Millennial is the name given to people born between years 1982 and 2000. Today, there are approximately 16.6 million millennials in Myanmar, accounting for roughly 33 percent of the nation’s total population. Born with the global digital shift, this demographic is believed to contain a large proportion of trendsetters and offer hints at how the larger population’s behaviours are likely to evolve and adapt to change, according to Vero.

“This study really reveals the power of the Myanmar millennials to shape the marketplace and influence buying decisions for the whole family,” said Brian Griffin, CEO of Vero in the Asean region. “Rather than always relying on elders for direction, the study indicates that millennials are using social media as ‘word of mouth’, and this in turn impacts how families consume and which companies they favour.”

Myanmar millennials do not put the same stock in brand loyalty or brand promises, as do millennials in neighbouring countries. Only 46 per cent of Myanmar millennials cite brand image as a critical factor in buying decisions. This contrasts with a high level of brand preference among millennials in Laos (72 per cent) and Cambodia (73 per cent). Instead of brand image, Myanmar millennials (54 per cent) are apt to make purchases based on the utility and characteristics of the good or service.

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