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Vietnamese consumer goods makers go after niche markets   2010-03-18 - VietNamNet/TP

A number of companies are cementing leading positions in the home market by launching products aimed at specific market segments.

 

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Serving every taste

 

Early this year, Trung Nguyen Coffee Company launched ‘Passionata’ onto the market, pitching it as “the instant coffee for women.”  Passionata was born after nine months of research, says Dang Le Nguyen Vu, General Director of Trung Nguyen.

 

The research showed that women like coffee as much as men.  Strangely, however, there was no kind of coffee on the market designed specifically for them.

 

Viet Tien, considered Vietnam’s leading mensware company, one day realized that it was overlooking a very important market segment – customers with medium and low income.

 

“We are making every effort to ‘conquer’ this market segment,” Deputy Director Phan Van Kiet says.  “That’s why Viet Tien has launched our Viet Long brand.”

 

Viet Long targets customers with modest incomes, especially in rural and remote areas. They could be office workers or workers in industrial and export processing zones.

 

With ‘soft’ prices of 80,000-180,000 dong per garment, the Viet Long mensware brand has been selling well at Viet Tien branches nationwide.

 

Analysts note that product differentiation -- making products that meet the diversified taste of a wide range of customers in accordance with their sex, age and health -- has become a clear tendency. They say that producers nowadays aim to serve every segment of the market instead of making only ‘standard’ products.

 

This way of doing business allows enterprises to seek profit and improve their competitiveness in certain market segments, and avoid head-on collisions with powerful multinational groups.

 

Le Huu Duc, the public relations director of Nutifood, said his firm is pursuing a niche strategy in the highly competitive milk sector.  Nutifood has focused on special products, e.g., dieters, those who suffer from diabetes, or sick or elderly people.

 

Niche markets can bring big opportunities

 

Duc’s happy with Nutifood’s strategy of ‘conquering’ unserved market segments.  Special products now bring in nearly thirty percent of the company’s revenues, and increase steadily year after year.

 

Kiet from Viet Tien also maintains that developing the niche markets well will not only enable the mensware maker to expand its business and gain market share, but also help to cement its position in the domestic market, a big market with 80 million consumers.

 

Kiet believes that the weak point of the majority of Vietnamese enterprises is their lack of diversification in design of products. It’s a shortcoming they must overcome if they aim to expand into market niches, he says.

 

Nguyen Vu Duy Tuan, a business strategist in HCM City, said that good market research is the key to success. Only by understanding customers and potential customers will enterprises be able to make the products that meet every taste.

 

Tuan said that ‘shampoo for men’ that certain firms have launched in the last few years is a typical example of successful creation of a new niche market.

 



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