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To avoid export Vietnamese goods being "anonymous"

10:08 | 20/01/2021

VCN - For many years, the process of building a national brand name and the brand for each enterprise and product in Vietnam has achieved remarkable results, but it is far from expectation. To avoid Vietnamese goods being "anonymous" on the international market requires close coordination and constant efforts from both the state management agencies and the business community.

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Each year, earning tens of billions of dollars in exports, Vietnamese wood still has no brand name in the international market.

Difficulties of building brand name

Referring to branding, the latest information from the Department of Trade Promotion (Ministry of Industry and Trade) shows the number of enterprises with products reaching the national level has gradually increased over time, from 30 enterprises in 2008 to 124 enterprises in 2020.

Mr. Hoang Minh Chien, Deputy Director of the Vietnam Trade Promotion Agency, said that through the VNA program, many Vietnamese corporations and enterprises are aware of the important role of branding as the key to adding value to products as well as the value of the business.

Enterprises have gradually built, developed and managed their brands, contributing to improving competitiveness and affirming their position in domestic and foreign markets.

“In 2019, enterprises with products reaching the national level have exported goods with a value of nearly VND123 trillion (equivalent to about US$5.3 billion), an increase of 203% compared to 2016 (reaching VND60 trillion).

“These enterprises have created jobs for more than 350,000 workers and contributed over VND197 trillion to the state budget,” said Mr. Hoang Minh Chien.

At the macro level, however, in each category, specific products realize that building Vietnamese brands on the global market is still a difficult process.

A typical example is the case of agriculture, forestry and fishery. Although these goods are always proud of being the "top" country in the world in exporting agricultural, forestry and aquatic products, Vietnamese products still have not escaped the impression of raw exports, with the absence of names and brands.

Talking to a Customs News reporter, agricultural expert Hoang Trong Thuy said about 80% of exported agricultural products do not have a brand.

This shows that the branding of new agricultural products stops at the level of direction, idea, action and speed. Trademarks are divided into national brands, collective brands and corporate brands. At a typical national level such as rice, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development stands out, but the influence is faint.

With the other products including shrimp and pangasius, although the construction of the national name is being established, it is newly carried out.

“Looking from the perspective of 10 major export agricultural products, such as wood, rubber, pepper, cashew, so far no products have been branded. Vietnamese coffee is famous in terms of production, but exporters only sell beans to roasters for them to process. The products sold are not Vietnamese brand names,” said expert Hoang Trong Thuy.

An expert in the wood processing and exporting field said although it is exported to many countries around the world, earning tens of billions of dollars, the continuous export growth rate is about 15% per year on average, the Vietnamese wooden brand is still unknown.

That means that despite Vietnamese products having good quality and meeting the needs and tastes of consumers, they still have to register the name of foreign brands when eyeing the world market.

Many concerns

From a business perspective, Mr. Dinh Hong Ky, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Secoin Building Materials Joint Stock Company (Secoin), spoke about a company that was present in many EU countries. A company working on the German market contacted and invited Mr. Ky to come and show their system and market deployment capabilities. They said that the products of Secoin Company were present here and now they have to put their brand name and build their own distribution channels in the EU market.

“They said they would support me, and then they were very enthusiastic, did a lot of research and negotiated with me. However, when they arrived to negotiate, they put on the table the sales plans in the EU, from warehouse, logistics, sales, after sales, the cost is huge. I cannot meet such a large cost," said Mr. Dinh Hong Ky.

Also concerned with branding issues, Ms. Pham Thi Kim Loan, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Ngan Ha Science and Technology Company, said that building a good brand must go from a solid foundation, must have good products, good customer care, good marketing. So there is a need for many good ones. If only Vietnamese develop, their capacity cannot keep pace with the world.

“For example, I have to invite an investor to invest in me because I alone cannot afford it. Although Vietnamese inventions, Vietnamese produce in Vietnamese soil, it will have to take into account what the percentage for foreign investors is. If I remain sluggish, I cannot call for investment and cannot develop, I slowly die. The point is that the 60 markets where our products are available will not grow. There must be foreign investment in both financial, management and marketing to push the brand up and be able to develop globally,” said Ms. Loan.

In addition to concerns about resources and finance, speaking with reporters of Customs News, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Nguyen Quoc Thinh, Head of Brand Management Department (University of Commerce) and Chairman of Advisory Council at the Institute of Branding and Competition Strategy, said that in order to build brand names, enterprises need the will, determination and knowledge of the board of directors.

Enterprises need a more coherent approach, so they should follow training courses and share with experts on branding to update their knowledge. These issues play a key role.

“Penetrating the world is not a difficult thing. Each market, each region has its own severity, but it means that it is not necessary to try to the toughest place. Enterprises should look for markets which are suitable for their capacity and market tastes,” said expert Nguyen Quoc Thinh.

From the perspective of state management agencies, Mr. Hoang Minh Chien stated that the Ministry of Industry and Trade will always accompany and support enterprises in building, developing and promoting brands of domestic and foreign enterprises. Three main issues will be focused on supporting businesses by the Ministry of Industry and Trade. Firstly, raising awareness of society and the business community about brand building and development, including propaganda, advertising, and training activities. Second is direct support for enterprises to meet the criteria of the national brand name and strive to become enterprises with products that reach the national brand name. Third is the propaganda and promotion for the NTP program and products reaching the national brand name to international partners as well as domestic consumers.

By Thanh Nguyễn/Bui Diep