‘Recent reports indicate that global brands aren’t waiting for their products to hit the shelves before ramping up their advertising campaigns in Myanmar. Whether it’s Coke, Pepsi, Mastercard or Visa, marketplace sources counsel that this is clearly the most strategic approach as consumer education is vital to any branding strategy for Myanmar.
Brand consultants do however advocate that any advertising campaign should be carefully tailored as Myanmar is not as cut off as it may seem, with surprisingly high levels of brand awareness. Lawrence Chong, CEO at Consulus, explains: “In Yangon itself there are a lot of professionals and youths that have studied overseas who have familiarity with global brands. Once you go beyond Yangon, that is where consumer education is really needed but not much of company advertising money is spent there anyway. Myanmar is not a black hole; it’s not North Korea. People do know brands and precisely because they know brands they know the value and power of those brands.”
As such, brands should craft their advertising campaigns and strategies accordingly. Chong advocates: “Brands should go in aggressively yet still should understand that a significant percentage of the urban population of Myanmar speaks English, has travelled and have some exposure to global companies.” Brand-owners that embrace a strategy of educating yet respecting the consumer are the ones that will gain the most traction in the marketplace, he says.’