Asia’s Global Identity Challenge

Martin Roll’s interview with The Peak (Hong Kong):

Martin Roll was interviewed about the future of Asian brands and what is required by Asian firms to build and sustain global brands. Asia has built a few globally recognized brands over the last years including Samsung, Singapore Airlines, Jim Thompson, Amorepacific, SONY, Mandarin Oriental and a few others. The potential for Asian firms is much bigger though, and the future focus for Asian businesses should be on the management mindset, innovation and marketing.

Martin Roll also discussed his book Asian Brand Strategy. The book presents the Asian Brand Leadership model illustrating the paradigm shift Asian brands need to undertake to unleash their potential:

First, mind-sets and practices need to change in the Asian boardroom. The book invites a complete shift in the way Asian boardrooms think of branding: from a tactical view to a long-term, strategic perspective, from fragmented marketing activities to totally aligned branding activities, from a vision of branding as the sole responsibility of marketing managers to branding as the most essential function of the firm led by the boardroom.

Second, this new perspective must be steeped into a more acute perspective on the consumer behaviour patterns. Asia is not a homogenous entity. Even more importantly, Asian countries are more and more traversed by cultural flows permeating the region: cinema, music and fashion trends that are present extend beyond national borders to capture the imagination of millions. Branding and brands do not operate in vacuum, but are closely linked to developments in society, to people and to cultures.

Third, managers wanting to succeed in Asia need to abandon the idea of an oriental Asia of the past. Asian consumers are all vying for an Asian type of modernity that has nothing to do with colonial imagery.

Fourth, to create iconic brands, Asian managers will have to become trendsetters. The perspective developed in this book is that, in order to be successful, Asian brands need to capture the spirit of the region, but they also need to lead the way by creating that spirit.

Finally, this shift can be achieved only if everybody in the company is convinced by the power of branding and if all strategies and actions are aligned around the brand. This must be led by the Asian boardroom.

Media link: This interview appeared in The Peak in January 2011 – download Martin Roll Interview, The Peak, January 2011