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Asian trends, creative MR and the myth of global brands: Insights from the ESOMAR Asia Pacific conference
Manfred Mareck Event Reports ESOMAR Asia Pacific, April 2013
to the widely-held myth about global brands. their brand perceptions and the implications for advertising and communications strategies. creative MR and the myth of global brands: Insights from the ESOMAR Asia Pacific conference Manfred Mareck Event Reports ESOMAR Asia Pacific. After Levitt. for example. It advises brand managers to think twice before shifting to a globally. Baring it All. if a brand was aimed at the top end of the market even this minor tweak was not necessary: after all. But dig a little deeper and the picture becomes more complex. at least in part. Australia and Hong Kong are much more empowered. This in turn led to a lazy way of thinking: towards creating one set of commercial brand messages and running the TV spots in every country. In their paper. and. creative MR and the myth of global brands: Insights from the ESOMAR Asia Pacific conference Manfred Mareck In almost every session of the 2013 ESOMAR Asia Pacific conference. in simple terms of distribution we have an increasing number of globally-available brands. The economic development in Asian markets has led to a dramatic change in the role (and self-image) of Asian women. those luxury buyers who bought Rolex watches. while many Asian women are still rooted in their traditional cultures. April 2013 Asian trends. Global Brands – Myth or Reality It was 30 years ago that an article by Theodore Levitt was published in the 1983 May/June issue of the Harvard Business Review.com 2 . They are now less conservative but not to the same degree across the whole region. has led. or at least regionally centralised strategy. drank Johnny Walker Black Label and invested their money offshore all lived their lives in English. presenters showed that Asian markets are much more culturally diverse than western marketers may think. brand positioning and campaign execution have often been centralised to ensure consistency of the message across the globe. The Globalisation of Markets. Downloaded from warc. All you had to do was change the voiceover to the respective local language. more broadly. Of course. marketing and advertising budgets. Levitt's notion of the Global Village. creative development. Title: Author(s): Source: Issue: Asian trends. Simple – or maybe not. they are also dealing with the opportunities of the modern and ever changing world. The paper offers detailed summary of the diverse position of women in twelve Asia-Pacific markets. This in turn suggests that a one-size-fits-all approach to the region is likely going to fail. Indonesian women are still fairly conformist while their counterparts in South Korea. held in Ho Chi Minh City. Chris Casenare (Ipsos Singapore) and Bing Natividad (Unilever) show that.
As an example. In Game On. Again. These values also change over time: in Indonesia. but the whole underlying concept. there is little homogeneity to be found in a group that might be seen as a single bloc by marketers. In her paper. For good measure. System 1 versus System 2. Elsewhere. this group accounts for almost 30% of the population in Singapore. Meanwhile. the by now familiar issues of emotional vs. Further regional differences were evident in Anjali Puri's (TNS India) paper There's no such place as Chindia. beauty. achievement or power – used. Stephanie Herold of Clear (Singapore) took a closer look at Acculturation: the process of adjustment when moving to a new country. Moulee used a measure of ad transference – similar performance in two markets – and demonstrated that Asia as a region is significantly more diverse than others. Downloaded from warc. he poked fun at the at the way western marketers in general see brands as a creator of loyalty and desire and the resulting concepts like engagement. Fast and Easy took a more general view of the issues at hand – being less Asia-specific than most other presentations – giving examples of how the use of mobile or game-related research techniques can offer new routes to shed light on System 1 judgements. Puri showed TV commercial based on the 'hero' concept. In this case. Underneath lie the main differences in Western (primarily individualistic) and Eastern (more collective) philosophy that still today shape our perceptions and result in different meanings of branding. in India. the rate of ad transference is 58% in Europe and only 40% in Asia. She found significant differences in the level of acculturation within the expat community – again. the point here is that executing a common regional ad strategy may often result in failure. Creative Research Methods The first morning session treated delegates to some interesting examples of creative approaches to solve research issues. rational responses. Han Zantingh and Tom Ewing of BrainJuicer opened with a presentation on researchers' war on rationality. implicit versus explicit memory. Even within countries there are differences: in Vietnam. a project that empirically isolated markets that react similarly to a message. and so on. Singapore) presented his finding of Advertising Clusters in Asia. today's ads transfer less well to other South East Asian markets than in the past. whereas Ho Chi Minh City has a higher ad transference rate to South East Asia. it is not simply the creative execution that needs to be tailored to specific markets. where national identity is getting stronger due to impressive economic growth. Moulee also found significant differences in transference values between northern and southern regions. Singapore) in his amusing style questioned the western view of brands in Asia in a paper named The Myth of the Brand in Asia. Fun. Evette Cordy and Penny Darbyshire (Raspberry Innovation Research + Strategy. James Parsons (Flamingo. Shivkumar Moulee (Millward Brown. Hanoi is similar to Southern China.com 3 . Similar diversity can be seen in the growing group of people often described simply as expatriates. which can be deployed aggressively and for a wide range of products in India but needs to be toned down in China and should only be used for more upmarket brands. For example. not because they tried to developed intellectual or emotional relationships between brand and consumers. of course. Ewing's paper. brand philosophy and personality. which showed that universal concepts like motherhood. Lenovo and others are successful because they manufature good products. Haier. The Modern Nomad in Asia. Often ignored by mainstream MR. design companies and user experience agencies. by many advertisers to promote their brand – can mean very different things across cultures. Australia) urged market researchers to use more creative methods in combination with traditional science-based research approaches to compete more successfully with the services offered by management consultants.
Another more people-centric. Tesco Bank. Brand choices are largely based on functional characteristics of the brand.com 4 . cost implications. Ho presented the use of a three-week online community followed by a series of co-creation workshops with consumers and representatives from the client to draw deeper insights via stories. they argued. the perceived emotional benefits and a brand's personality. rather than brand-centric. it is crucial to understand these differences and the impact colour connotations and symbolism can have brand perception. the presenters argued. What do clients want? The final panel discussion on customer-centric research offered some clients of the MR industry (including AIA Insurance Group. the discussion gave some useful pointers to the research providers how they might be able to improve their services. UK) provided a detailed overview how MROCs and Community Panels are currently being used. Meanwhile. In many ways there were few surprises – what clients wanted more of included: l l l l More creative interpretation of data and 'finding the nuggets if insight' rather than simply collecting data More efforts to identify client's problems and offer solutions rather than simply asking 'what's the brief?' Acting more like a business partner than merely as a provider MR agencies should not be afraid to challenge their client and inspire them with innovative ideas. The themes of the conference were largely familiar ones. just because Asian consumers buy similar products as we do in the West does not mean that 'emerging (markets)' Downloaded from warc. For marketers. the social identity of the consumer. brands need to resonate with deeper human motivations. l Firstly. In Research Communities in Asia Pacific Ray Poynter (Vision Critical. Their research into these superpromoters studied the flow of enthusiasm that these most loyal customers often share with their social circle and how these core customers can be used to enhance brands and help in marketing and new product development. Meanwhile. a practical example how MROCs can be used was given by Dangjaithawin Anantachai and colleagues from INTAGE Thailand in their paper 24/7 Diginography. who chaired the programme committee. as well as by age group. the different approaches taken. approach for brand equity research was proposed by Sue Philips and Shivani Kapoor (Ipsos) in their paper on Growing brands by connecting with deeper human motivations. Their work investigated the meaning of colours and how these meanings vary from country to country. Final thoughts For me. Unilever. Leaving aside the plea for a reduction of fees and faster turn-around of projects. and Amway) the opportunity to voice their concerns about the research industry and what they would like to see more of. and what factors are driving the growing popularity of research communities. Co-creation as a tool was described by presenter Andrew Ho (Face. USA) in Brands without Borders. In order to be successful. The use of online communities for research purposes was the focus of two papers. but AIG's Maryan Broadbent. using loyal customers as Superpromoters was the theme of a team from Philips Netherlands (Arne van de Wijddeven) and Blauw Research (Rijn Vogelaar). reminded delegates in her summing up that the MR industry and their clients should not forget to ensure that “we get robust data and reliable data and maintain the trust of the public by respecting data privacy” . there were two key issues that came out loud and clear from the conference.
This electronic file is for the personal use of authorised users based at the subscribing company's office location. Downloaded from warc. But given that over half the world's population live in Asia. posted on intranets. All rights reserved including database rights. this finding really should not be all that surprising. About the author Manfred Mareck is managing director of Research Marketing Ltd. extranets or the internet.this market place is characterised by enormous cultural diversity. e-mailed. archived or shared electronically either within the purchaser’s organisation or externally without express written permission from Warc. will eventually become like western countries l The one-size-fits-all approach doesn't work in Asia . It may not be reproduced.com 5 .
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