Building brands for products and enterprises in international markets will help raise the position of the national brand to a new level, especially when many free trade agreements (FTA) to which Vietnam is a signatory have come into force. Many businesses have sought to seize opportunities offered by these FTAs to enable Vietnamese products to compete with products of other rivals in the international marketplace, which is a long and bumpy road ahead.
In recent times, Vietnam’s export revenues have grown robustly. Some food and beverage (F&B) products have successfully built their own brand names in international markets, contributing to facilitating the export of “made-in-Vietnam” products to global markets. This indicated Vietnamese businesses have accumulated sufficient experiences, created their own values and known how to make the most of advantages after many years competing with other international rivals in the local market. Among those, beverage enterprises stand out with their business strategy of “go global”.
Entering international markets in new position
Over the past two decades, the beverage industry in Vietnam has witnessed a fierce competition among local and foreign businesses. If foreign businesses dominate in carbonated soft drinks, local firms have found their niche market of naturally healthy beverages. A healthy competition enables local businesses to enter international markets in a higher position through offering optimal final products.
Previously, though having multiple advantages of material regions in this segment, Vietnam primarily focused on raw exports. Vietnam’s tea export volume ranks fifth in the world with the country’s tea products now available in 74 countries and territories. Also, the country’s reserve-to-production ratio came in seventh in the world. However, around 90% of tea export is raw material sold at low prices and under the brand names of importers. Exporting tea in the form of finished products under local brand names is rare.
Trinh Huyen Mai, vice head of the Trade Promotion Policy Development Division under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, highlighted the significance of building brand names amid the unexpected development of the modern economy. The position of a country will be raised when it has more brand names dominating global markets given the current free trade conditions.
In order to sell products under their own brand names, some businesses in the beverage segment have made professional investments to meet strict requirements of the market, including building sustainable planting areas. Among those, Tan Hiep Phat Group emerged as a successful company in exporting drinks to many international markets.
To date, Tan Hiep Phat’s products have been exported to over 20 countries and gained recognition from fastidious markets such as the European Union and the U.S. This shows positive signs for efforts of making Vietnam’s exports more sustainable, asserting Vietnamese brands in international markets.
That Vietnamese products including Tan Hiep Phat’s have gained recognition in international markets contributes to promoting the national brand and raising the country’s position in the global ratings. A report of Brand Finance, an evaluation organization, showed that Vietnamese national brand was valued at US$141 billion in 2016, then reached US$388 billion in 2021 and amounted to US$431 billion in 2022.
To go far, be proactive and flexible
With multiple efforts, Vietnamese businesses have been securing their positions in international markets by offering a wide range of high quality products to global consumers. However, it is not an overnight development to bring Vietnamese products to the shelves of international marketplaces as businesses had spent a long time building a firm foundation in their local market. The integration into the international market requires an active participation and flexibility from businesses as this is necessary for them to create a new position for their brand names through offering quality products.
In the face of peer competition with other foreign rivals in the local market for decades, the success of Tan Hiep Phat showed a distinct strategy of product development. Despite experiencing high pressure posed by competition at home, the group has successfully captured consumer trends to turn out soft drinks that are beneficial for health.
The mission which Tan Hiep Phat has persistently pursued since the early days of its establishment is to prioritize manufacturing healthy beverage products that meet international standards and cater to different tastes and preferences. This is a key element that helps the business create high competitiveness for products and establish a strong foothold in the local market before making a foray into the global playground.
If the adaptive capacity and knowledge of the domestic market enable Vietnamese businesses to compete well with other foreign rivals at home, professional investments in production technology since early days are necessary for enterprises to do business in the long term amid a fierce competition from multinational competitors.
Tan Hiep Phat is a pioneer in making use of technology to bolster its position. From the very first days of establishment, the group focused on aseptic cold extraction technology to standardize its manufacturing process. This technology is considered as the 21st century’s invention with its prominent sterilization specifications.
Tan Hiep Phat now possesses 12 aseptic tech lines in all of its factories and the group boasts renown brand names across the country including Dr Thanh herbal teas, green teas or Number 1. All these products are manufactured by the aseptic cold extraction technology where product materials are closely monitored before the extraction process.
An outstanding feature of the technology is its ability to manufacture ultra heat treated (UHT) products while securing a five-time increase in sterilization for other processes including filling and capping through elements such as sterilized bottles, lid and liquids. The manufacturing process also helps retain the best nutrients for body’s health and keep the color and flavor of products natural, purified without a need to use preservatives.
According to the management of Tan Hiep Phat, the most crucial value of a consumer goods manufacturer is to accumulate knowledge in its products as this will drive business to make products for the benefit of consumers’ health.
To create competitive advantages in domestic and international markets, businesses need to quickly seize the trends, preferences of consumers and meet technical requirements. During its operation and development, Tan Hiep Phat has consistently applied strict quality management systems so that the group could bring healthy products to consumers and protect the environment at the same time. Some of the quality management systems are ISO 9001:2015, ISO 14001:2015, food safety management system HACCP.
Being consistent with the priority of using local materials, Tan Hiep Phat has been strengthening its connectivity with purchasing and supply chains, expanding material areas for farmers across the country and cooperating with them on mutual benefits.
Besides profit, businesses need to care about the quality of development, prosperity of residents and environmental protection. Tan Hiep Phat has successfully established a link with farmers, becoming their partners and companions through projects aiming for common values.
The entry of domestic businesses into the global marketplace, including Tan Hiep Phat, is a story that inspires many other local firms to reach out to international markets. Integration will offer businesses opportunities for further growth in larger markets than domestic ones. However, it would be obviously challenging for any business if they do not have good preparations for that journey.