SANTIPHONG Pimolsaengsuriya, chief executive officer of Havas Riverorchid, a marketing communication specialist in the CLMV markets (Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam), said Myanmar’s potential was clear from a survey the group did in May.
It involved 504 respondents in Myanmar, who rated their trust in products made locally and from major exporters including Thailand, Singapore, China, Japan, the United States, South Korea, Europe, Australia and New Zealand.
The study showed Myanmar consumers’ trust in the quality of Thai products was the same as for products from Japan and Singapore. In terms of trust in the image, Thai products were rated as high as those from Japan.
“Given the above-mentioned advantage of Thai products in Myanmar, we suggest that leading Thai brands enter the market when they are ready,” Santiphong said.
“Makers of products without brand names or brands that are not yet well known, including producers who make merchandise for branded products, can also expand their business in Myanmar. However, despite the competitive advantage, all producers need to build their brands consistently, together with carrying out marketing activities.” He said social values also had a great influence on consumer behaviour in Myanmar. This was underscored in a study Havas Riverorchid conducted last year titled “Ten Consumer Megatrends in Myanmar”.
One notable example is the “fear fatigue” that has accompanied the rapid opening up of the country to the outside world. The rapid influx of new things naturally makes people suspicious and even a bit fearful. Consequently, it is important for entrepreneurs to make an extra effort to gain consumers’ trust in products and services that are new to them.
An effective approach is helping consumers to understand their problems, and clearly demonstrate how the company’s products or services can respond to such problems.