M’sian firms urged to invest in branding to move up value chain


KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian companies must invest in branding to meet international standards as part of moving up the value chain to ensure their profitability and survival amid intensifying competition in global market, said Domestic Trade, Cooperative and Consumerism Minister, Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

This would make Malaysia more competitive and offered the country the quantum leap needed to become a developed nation, he said.

To gain market positioning, companies, especially small and medium-scale enterprises, must undergo transition from price competition to branding in the domestic market.

“Over time, the brand will be able to undergo the routes towards globalisation (of the brands),” he said in his speech at the Branding Association of Malaysia’s executive committee 2012-2015 installation ceremony yesterday.

His speech was delivered by the ministry’s Deputy Secretary-General, Consumerism and Management, Datin Mahani Tan Abdullah.

Ismail Sabri said even with the country’s expanding economy and premier position in global trade, there are too few truly world class and internationally recognised Malaysian brands.

On the background of limited domestic market, it was vital for local companies to venture overseas and brand was the only one passport for companies to go global, he added. “The more competitive environment has brought an increasing number of new entrants into the market, thus to remain relevant it is critical to gain market position via improved design and branding, as well as to deploy innovative marketing strategies,” he said.

The minister also cautioned local companies not to treat their marketing communication agencies as mere vendors or suppliers, but as true partners in brand-building, while striving to keep costs down.

To ensure the sustainability of Malaysia’s best brands in the market, this year is expected to see changes in intellectual property (IP) regime to bring the country’s domestic legislation and practice in line with international IP standards and obligations.

“It is hoped that with further enhancement of the IP legal infrastructure, Malaysian businesses will soar to greater achievements and gain a competitive edge in the global market,” Ismail Sabri said. — Bernama

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