Asia’s Most Promising Brands will showcase the most promising brands and leaders from a whole range of Asian countries who have contributed to the emerging and ever growing success story of the rise of the Asian economy. An economic success story which has now over taken a range of developed western economies when it comes to economic growth and prosperity.
For most of the last 30 years, no region of the world has been more economically dynamic than Asia. While much of the developing world has failed to keep pace with economic growth in the advanced industrial countries over this period, the nations of Asia have grown at historically unprecedented rates. Economic liberalisation and political reforms across the region have helped to shape and transform the patterns of world trade, lifted millions out of absolute poverty, and so captivated the attention of Western economists and business leaders which emerged by the early 1990s and whose economic achievements are now referred to as the “Asian miracle.”
The huge growth and diversification of Asia’s economies, driven by exporting products to developed western economies, has meant a complete shift in the economic landscape in recent decades. Rising prosperity across Asia has also led to huge social changes, with people from rural areas migrating to urban centres and this rapid urbanisation creating cities that exhibit vast differences in wealth and lifestyle.
This is the very environment where the culture of ‘Brands’ has emerged, evolved and now flourished. Those highly sought after brands once associated with western markets, which represented the traditional markers of quality, trust and reliability to consumers are now competing with a new generation of brands from the new competitive and dynamic economies of Asia. Asia’s Most Promising Brands is a kaleidoscope of national, regional and global brands that have become embedded in the Asian consumer psyche and offer consumers the opportunity for self-expression, selfrealization and self-identity. Through the availability of sophisticated technology Asia’s consumers have been key players in the communication revolution that in many cases has introduced to them some of the finest brands in the world. Websites, blogs, and social networking sites have given every marketing manager and entrepreneur access to communication channels, markets and consumers across the world that were once reserved only for major corporations with million dollar budgets.
As in developed markets, technology is unleashing the possibility of increasingly deep customer engagement at every level of the consumer journey. Social media also makes it easy for consumers to confirm if a brand really walks the walk and talks the talk. Consumer trust in brands is increasingly reinforced by that word of mouth factor which is amplified through social media and the new wave of digital media. Furthermore, good brands who actively manage their reputations are increasingly doing so via social media reputation management which has never been more important, alongside brand transparency which is equally critical. In this day and age, even the smallest mistake by a company or a brand can become a huge public relations problem and those who are effectively at reputation management will always be ready with response plans in place to protect their company or brand reputation.
Central to brand reputation is also how consumers expect brands to use their money and their reach for social, environmental, and economic good. Corporate social responsibility is important to every company, but as we have seen with many of Asia’s Most Promising Brands, the positioning of key brands as social influencers has now become a strategic priority and will increasingly need to do so.
There is no doubt that while brands are unique, there are certain common qualities for success. These include appealing to both emotion and reason, they inspire loyalty over time, they demand organization-wide commitment and support, and when managed well they inspire all stakeholders – customers, employees, partners, and the investment community. This is not different across the Asian brands that are being showcased today. When consumers perceive a brand consistently and positively across the major touch points, including friends and family and the in-store experience, they are far more likely to choose that brand, profiting companies that spend smartly rather than heavily. Many of those brands have shown that a strong brand is invaluable as the battle for customers intensifies day by day. Those companies and brands which are spending the time investing in researching, defining, and building their brands will continue their upward trend as they grow and diversify. As the rise of the Asian economy has shown, taking consumers for granted and standing still when it comes to brand and reputation management is no longer an option. Branding your products and effectively communicating that brand is essential in determining success in marketing and building value for your products and organization. As the battle for customers intensifies day by day, Asia’s most promising brands will be leading the way.