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OPPORTUNITIES

The cultural environment refers to factors and trends related to how people live and behave. Cultural factors, including the values, ideas, attitudes, beliefs and activities of specific population subgroups, greatly affect consumers purchasing behavior. Thus, it is important to understand the cultural characteristics and trends in different markets. Markets in Vietnam are classified into 2 main markets: market in the North and market in the South. However, Vietnam culture is much diversified. In each region in Vietnam, we have different customs, habits, values, ideas, altitudes, beliefs. Hence, if we understand Vietnam culture carefully, we can set possible marketing strategies for each market in Vietnam and bring entrepreneurs a lot of opportunities and benefits. There are some aspects of culture that have positive influences on marketing activities.

Persistence of cultural values


In Vietnam, people who lives in each region like different products or services. Peoples core belief and values are passed on from parents to children and are reinforced by school, churches, business and government. 1. Market diversity

With various cultures in Vietnam, Vietnam is a potential market for both foreign and domestic investors. Moreover, because of different culture, we can set different market segments such as for customers in the North, customers in the South, and customers in the Central. For example, customers in the North have trends to like more traditional products relating to family such as tea, milk and healthy products. Customers in the North also like advertising, promotion activities relating to Vietnamese traditional values, images and customs. Colgate or Coca cola is a typical example. In contrast, in the South, customers are more interested in products with modern, energetic design, suitable with the youths taste. Most of customers in the Central are likely to be cost-saving. Therefore, marketing strategies for this market are discounting, cheap products. The culture diversity among regions create a market diversity for business .Once they

understand the marketplace and customer needs in each region, it is easy to set out a suitable marketing strategy 2. Integrated culture

Following the affiliation of the economy, the Vietnamese culture also has many changes and affects directly the Vietnamese lifestyle. Nowadays, Vietnamese like to integrate into the universal world. Therefore, Vietnamese have trend to like products from developed countries, especially for clothing, motorbikes, cars, mobile phones, etc. Therefore, marketing strategies dont have to depend much on traditional markets or marketing methods. It is also easier to catch the attention of Vietnamese. And it is not hard for entrepreneurs to overcome the Vietnamese traditional bias or barriers. 3. Good education Today, Vietnamese are educated with better quality and with more care. Childrens education is the most important aim in Vietnam. Consequently, marketing strategies in Vietnam relate to education and emphasize the importance of children education. It is a chance for companies to organize the associations or programs to sponsor for the children, specifically for the children with poor conditions. In Vietnam, this is the best and easiest way to take the Vietnamese customers trust. Dutch Lady, Vinamilk, Gu instant noodle or LG are some famous brands succeeding in these marketing activities. Furthermore, English is the most common second language in Vietnam. Products brand name or marketing activities using English are more concerned. Therefore, it is not essential to translate English names, slogans or advertising songs into Vietnamese. And language is not a main barrier for marketing activities in Vietnam any more. 4. Consumer behavior It is true to say that Vietnamese are easily affected by the majority. Vietnamese like to buy products after asking or being advertised by relatives or other people. In other words, Vietnamese culture is word of mouth culture. And if a product is well-known for a family, it can be known and trusted by their relatives, neighbors or colleagues. Hence, in Vietnam, word of mouth advertising is an effective marketing activity without much advertising expenses. On the other hand, Vietnamese are very curious. Vietnamese like

to try new products or interesting or noisy advertising programs. This is also the reason why there are various ways for bring new products to enter the Vietnam market. 4. Vietnamese Optimism

In contrast with Europeans, Vietnamese are very optimistic people. Despite the weather or economic situation, Vietnamese customers demands for trusted products are not decreased. Especially, in each holiday, Vietnamese buying behaviors continue to rise. Furthermore, Vietnamese are used to relaxing after a long hard-working day. Therefore, in the present economic downturn situation, Vietnam is still a potential market for marketing activities relating to entertainment, with interesting sales revenues. 5. Price Concern

In comparison with people in developed countries, Vietnamese are less concerned about the price. Vietnamese dont care much about whether products are suitable with that high price. Almost the people in Vietnam like expensive products because they think that the more expensive products are, the better they are. Moreover, the use of wellknown brand is considered confirming the individual image but they tend to change to use Vietnam product in recent years. Customers, who are interested in import products, decreased from 71.2% (2009) to 57.4%. Especially, the Vietnamese youth want to express themselves by using luxurious products with famous brand name. Therefore, this is considered for companies to set their suitable high price policy to meet the demands of the Vietnamese. Whereas, in America or Europe, customers take care more about the price of the products and think carefully before they make decisions to buy any products. So, marketing strategies in these developed countries are more complex than in Vietnam.

Shifts in secondary culture values


Although core values are fairly persistent, cultural swings do take place. Consider the impact of popular music groups, movie personalities, and other celebrities on young peoples hair styling and clothing norms. This shift occurs in Vietnam, especially young

people. They use products, brands, and services as a mean of self-expression, and they buy products and service that match their view of themselves. Some changing consume behavior of young people below will affect marketing decision making.

1. Food: FTA Market Research Company conducted a survey and they found that instant noodle is consumed a lot in supermarket (66%) and grocery (80%). Factors such as delicious food, competitive price, family and friends advice, variety are considered when customers buy instant noodles products. Another kind of product becoming more and more popular is fast food. Ignoring warning likely to become obese, or insecure materials, more than 80% of consumers often use the fast food in group, and ages . Most fast-food lovers often go out with friends, lovers or family. Fast food chains are decorated various space including family space, the friends space, to attract a large range of clients with age diversity. Marketer can realize customers eating habits to decide which kind of products they should buy in this market 2. Fashion: According to a survey (Viettrack,2011) ,Consumers in Hanoi has the highest demand in expressing their individual image through dress (39%), while younger consumers in other cities seem easier and more flexible, with high rate of people "when following the trend, sometimes personal style." Da Nang young consumers regularly updated fashion trends, but also not completely wear trend. Ho Chi Minh youths tend to dress distinct clothes than other cities. Meanwhile, Can Tho often dress like the actors in the film. Over 50% of the selected style is simple and easy to see. More importantly, Korean fashion plays an important role for people 20-29 years of age. If the business understands target customers psychology, they may know which target customers should be severed and where they can buy it. 3. Advertisement It looks like the age 20-29 people pay more attention to funny ads. So, "Vinamilk" ads are very popular. Followed that are Heineken and Comfort. Moreover, the youth in the

South are easily attracted by the eye-catching advertising, promotion activities of foreign brands such as Pepsi, KFC, Lotteria, Levis, Zara, etc. In addition, the advertising or promotional marketing strategies with celebrities can take a lot of attentions of the youth in the South. On the other hand, the most important customers in the Central are farmers or blue collars. It is beneficial for business when they design a advertisement to attract young people Shopping behavior They are willing to spend a lot of money for a reputable manufacturer and extra features. They choose a product based on personal preference. They are often looking for information before buying on Internet or social network

Internet is the most rapidly developing media, up 66% from last year. Using Internet increased in all 12 provinces instead of the 10 provinces in the 2009 study. Find information and entertainment are the two main activities when accessing Internet. TV remains the most popular media (98.3%). Cinema increased by 33% and increased by 10% compared to last year. Radio remains unchanged. Cable TV in 12 markets increased 34% compared to 2009. The number of mobile phone owners increased 89.1% compared to 77.7% (2009). The number of laptop users increased by nearly 300% compared to 2009. Internet accessing via mobile phones also tend to increase. Therefore, it is necessary to advertise and sell products on social network, webs and on the most popular media.

In addition, women are key person in the industry of food and essential appliances. While men are more decisive for durable goods and technology products. When buying electronic items (TV, washing machine, fridge ...), younger consumers most concerned about price, durability, fuel economy, warranty and design. For technology products (phone, PC, Laptop, etc) they consider more reliable elements, brand reputation, warranty and design. Price does not seem to be important factors. Especially, word of mouth plays an important role in the shopping habits of young consumers with high-tech products. 4. Shopping channel Grocery and market are popular places to buy essential items (including personal care products, cleaning products, etc.). Supermarket is also an important shopping channel. While in Ho Chi Minh City, Da Nang and Can Tho, young people tend to buy more essential items at the market, the Hanoi people mainly buy at the grocery store. In Ho Chi Minh City and Can Tho Supermarket is the second favorite place to buy products essential. When buying food , the market is still the first choice and most popular. Then, supermarkets but not significantly. 5. Entertainment services In general, price and quality are two most important factors to consider when choosing the entertainment outside. Young people in Da Nang and Can Tho are interested in price than in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi. In addition to price, younger consumers aged 20 29 in HCM interested in producing high quality products and beautiful scenery, while HN and DN focus on elements of service and comfort. Favorite channels: HBO, VTV3, HTV7