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Branding Concepts in Photos from Southeast Asia
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Branding Concepts in Photos from Southeast Asia

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FutureBrand Singapore is a regional hub, meaning we service clients not only domestically but also in Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam. That means a fair bit of travel for......

FutureBrand Singapore is a regional hub, meaning we service clients not only domestically but also in Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam. That means a fair bit of travel for most of us, although sadly it\’s all too often the kind of travel that involves less time site-seeing, meeting people and getting to know local cultures and more time on planes and in airports. (And in cities like Jakarta, Manila and Bangkok, a lot of time on the ground is spent in traffic.) But even with all the running around, I still find plenty to see, do and photograph. Here are eleven photos from around Southeast Asia---mostly shot from my phone, while on the go---all demonstrating some aspect of brand strategy.

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  • FutureBrand Singapore is a regional hub, meaning we service clients not only domestically but also in Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam. That means a fair bit of travel for most of us, although sadly it’s all too often the kind of travel that involves less time site-seeing, meeting people and getting to know local cultures and more time on planes and in airports. (And in cities like Jakarta, Manila and Bangkok, a lot of time on the ground is spent in traffic.) But even with all the running around, I still find plenty to see, do and photograph. Here are ten photos from around Southeast Asia—mostly shot from my phone, while on the go—all demonstrating some aspect of brand strategy.
  • Differentiation. Get your brand noticed by standing apart from the crowd in a meaningful way.
  • Cambodian tuk-tuk drivers presumably don’t have lots of extra cash to throw around. That’s why I love thinking about the driver of this cab making the risky decision to spend money decorating his taxi in the hopes that the unique look would drive a hefty ROI.
  • You don’t have to go to Jakarta to see banks and financial services firms with dull, easy-to-confuse, three-letter acronyms for names. Mandiri stands out because of its name and its look.
  • Relevance. Align your brand’s messaging with a specific demographic or psychographic.
  • I was pleasantly surprised to see that Vitamin Water localizes the funny copy on its packaging. A quick, informal Twitter survey revealed that they do this in other parts of the world, too.
  • I don’t really think of pork when I read “Pocky,” but apparently it was a big enough concern for Glico to rename its popular snack in heavily Muslim countries like Malaysia.
  • Here’s another example of trademark infringement in Cambodia (I doubt the Batman taxi was officially sanctioned). Illegality aside, I liked that this cafe went to such lengths to say “this is the kind of people that will like it here.” The interior even felt like an Apple Store, and when I was there the clientele looked a lot like this menu suggests (except I saw someone using a Dell).
  • I took the picture more for the funny name than anything else, but if you’re gonna make soap just for men, why not be direct and name it “Mansoap”?
  • Focus. Logic has it that the more your company tries to do (or the more you try to make your brand stand for), the less it will do well.
  • Use exit A at the Chinatown MRT stop in Singapore and you’ll soon come across The Tintin Shop. Stop in for just about anything related to the Belgian world traveler—including some Belgian beer.
  • This shop next door to our office sells just one product. I’ve seen up to three employees working together to handcraft the little S$1.30 curry puffs, and like you might expect, they’re delicious.
  • Counterexample: I picked this box of medicine up because the packaging looked interesting, and was surprised to see that it supposedly works for ailments ranging from fever to intoxication, over-eating and jetlag.
  • Credibility. Make sure your brand is making realistic, believable claims.
  • Counterexample: One day the Japanese place at the mall next door changed its name and started serving Thai food. Nothing else changed—same woman behind the register (she’s neither Japanese nor Thai)—and the yakitori sign stayed up for a few more weeks.
  • Naming. Pick brand names that convey the desired brand attributes and personality, are easy to remember and pronounce and don’t have negative connotations.
  • Counterexample (a naming problem): This last one’s just for fun. I guess it didn’t occur to any English speakers working with this brand that the Chinese name, when transliterated and read aloud, sounds an awful lot like “dingy.” Luckily, this place seems pretty clean.

Transcript

  • 1. branding
    * illustrated with photos taken throughout southeast asia
    concepts*
  • 2. brand
    differentiation
  • 3. differentiation SIEM REAP, CAMBODIA
    of all the motorcycle taxis in siem reap, this is the only batman taxi.
    rob meyerson, 2011
    3
  • 4. rob meyerson, 2011
    4
    differentiation JAKARTA, INDONESIA
    “dki?” “bri?” who can remember?and then there’s “mandiri.”
  • 5. brand
    relevance
  • 6. relevance SINGAPORE
    vitaminwater localizes its romance copyto make it more locally relevant.
    rob meyerson, 2011
    6
  • 7. relevance KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA
    in 99% muslimmalaysia, glico’spocky snack issold as “rocky” to avoid associations with pork.
    rob meyerson, 2011
    7
  • 8. relevance PHNOM PENH, CAMBODIA
    who’ll like the blue pumpkin? people whoalso like macs, and barefoot lounging.
    rob meyerson, 2011
    8
  • 9. relevance SINGAPORE
    are you a man? do you like soap?then you’ll love mansoap.
    rob meyerson, 2011
    9
  • 10. brand
    focus
  • 11. focus SINGAPORE
    the tintin shop in chinatown is exactly whatyou think it is—and nothing more.
    rob meyerson, 2011
    11
  • 12. focus SINGAPORE
    this store sells just one thing: traditional chicken curry puffs, for $1.30 each
    rob meyerson, 2011
    12
  • 13. lack of focus SINGAPORE
    here’s a medicine for everything from intoxication to jetlag. think it works for either?
    rob meyerson, 2011
    13
  • 14. brand
    credibility
  • 15. lack of credibility SINGAPORE
    why does the siam deli have “yakitori” on their sign? because yesterday they were a japanese place.
    rob meyerson, 2011
    15
  • 16. brand
    credibility
  • 17. naming problems SINGAPORE
    i’ve eaten at plenty of dingy noodle houses,
    but this is the first one that uses the name.
    rob meyerson, 2011
    17