Europe-PH News

Crisis Driving Quality

November 25, 2011

Franz Jonathan G. dela Fuente

Filipino brands, as with peers in much of Asia, are forced to become more competitive in terms of price and quality differntiation in response to more discriminating consumers looking for good deals amid the global economic crisis, a Singapore-based branding expert said in a lecture earlier this week.

"Are Filipino brands becoming more competitive?  I'd say yes.  The crisis is, in a way, influencing that trend," said Jorg Dietzel, chairman and chief executive officer of regional branding group Jorg Dietzel Brand Consultants, at a CEO Forum on Asian branding trends hosted by the European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ECCP) at Dusit Thani Manila in Makati City last Wednesday.

Filipino brands are seen to be responding nowadays to consumer preferences that have been altered by the impact of the global economic crisis starting 2008, he said.

Primarily, consumers are now more aware of quality and reliability of various products -- from shoes to cars -- even if it means spending a bit more now in order to save in the long run.

"Consumers are looking for things to last a little longer and they are willing to pay a little more for that," Mr. Dietzel said.

"This is good for brands because this means they will be able to provide more choices and increase the diversity of the marketplace," he added.

Furthermore, the public is now becoming more conscious of "we care" brands that position themselves as being sensitive to customers' economic plight by offering more value.

In order to adequately address consumer attitudes, brands are urged to engage their customers more.

"Because consumers are becoming more and more brand-conscious, brand positioning must be different, relevant and credible, especially in these times of crises," he said.

Careful brand research, consistency, and clarity of communication should attract customers to a brand, Mr. Dietzel said.

Asia's general economiic resilience. relative to the troubled West, will enable brands in the region to excel. he added.

"This will usher in the Age of the Asian Brand," Mr. Dietzel said.

"The Philippines is definitely in a good position to exploit this opportunity because of  your strengths in the English language and basically friendly people," he noted.

"We will be seeing more of this trend starting next year."


Source: Business World; Weekender; 25 November 2011

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