Malaysian brands have potential to go global

MALAYSIAN brands such as Petronas, Royal Selangor, Proton, Boh Tea and Anchor have the potential to go global, said Reader's Digest associate publisher (Asian editions) Peter Jeffrey. 

Asian brands were expected to grow and new strong brands would emerge from Asian markets over the next five years, Jeffrey predicted in his presentation on “Local Versus Global Brands” at the inaugural Malaysian Ad Congress 2003 in Langkawi last Friday.  

He said Asian brands were facing challenges from multinational and global brands. 

“To survive and grow, the Asian brands will need to improve,” he said. 

With the advent of globalisation, Jeffrey said there would be opportunities for local brands to compete with global brands especially in the service sector, consumer, electronics, food and finance. 

Citing an example, Jeffrey said the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group is one local brand that has or in the process of becoming global. 

Meanwhile, Celcom (M) Bhd senior manager (brand marketing) Michael Lai said the Asia Pacific had many branding opportunities. 

These include New Zealand's dairy products, Indonesian coffee, Thai silk and Malaysian pewter and palm oil. Culturally, Chinese tea and Malaysian/Indonesian batik are possibilities while Australia has education under the service sector. 

According to Lai, Asia manufactures 50% of the world's products, adding that “if it controls the branding side, there is tremendous potential for Asian brands.” 

He noted that 65 of the top 100 brands in the world came from the US, 27 from European Union while only seven were from Asia, out of which six were from Japan.  

Lai said Asia also under-invested in advertising. North America spends US$113bil annually on advertising and Europe US$92bil, Asia (excluding Japan) only US$34bil. 

Malaysian advertising expenditure, at US$0.81bil last year, was only about 25% of Australia's US$3.37bil although the two countries have similar populations. 

Meanwhile, Natseven TV (ntv7) chief executive officer Datuk Shazalli Ramly said that in the near future, there would be a strong correlation between entertainment content and brand content. He expressed confidence that content creators would maximise value by attaching a personalised message to their intended audience. 

Shazalli said the advent of digital TV could facilitate the delivery of more than 180 channels and content would be distributed simultaneously through a wide distribution network, each serving a particular function.  

“The future is about personal choice,” he said.  

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