A majority of consumers in Asia-Pacific, as elsewhere, believe that brands can make the world a better place, but global brands will have to work significantly harder than local ones to persuade them.
Richard McCabe, regional strategy director/APAC at McCann Worldgroup, addressed this topic at the recent Advertising Week APAC conference, where he noted there has been a sharp increase in preference for local brands in recent years.
McCann Worldgroup’s The Truth about Global Brands study found that the percentage of Asia-Pacific consumers expressing such partiality increased from 40% to 59% between 2015 and 2018.
Local brands are perceived as behaving in a more interesting and innovative way compared to global brands, he reported. (For more details, read WARC’s report: What diversity means to consumers around the world – and where brands fit in.)
And he highlighted three core characteristics of local Asian disruptor brands:
• Fast-follower mindset: flexible, agile and brave; following intuition over logic; using a test/learn/iterate approach.
• Catch the wave: identify ever-changing trends and emergent partnerships.
• Hyper-local insights and experience design: local provenance and experience are essential.
“There’s a kind of Asian disruptor filter that takes it even farther, even deeper, and [makes it] even more exciting,” said McCabe.
He pointed to Gojek, an Indonesia-based enterprise, as an example of how a business that came about as a solution to Jakarta’s terrible traffic has expanded to provide a suite of services that includes payments and food delivery.
“There’s even a phrase now about ‘Gojek-ing yourself somewhere,’” he said. “It’s an example of brands that are really thinking about things in a different way.
“So, be it a global brand or local brand, instead of thinking about, ‘Would this work in this country?’, can we think more about, ‘Does it work for this country?’”