Gone are the days when renowned international brands used to dominate the Asian & APAC Consumer Goods market, leaving less scope for other local players to emerge. From soft drinks and home products to varied kinds of beauty products & other refreshments, there had been a minimum or almost no competition for years as international brands almost penetrated the entire Asian & APAC market. They were the leaders in the marketing domain and the entire population had only these products in mind while shopping.
I have traveled to many remote locations across Asia & APAC and one thing that I have noticed is that majority of the population in these regions live in villages where there is no supply of electricity, making it impossible for people to store cold drinks. I was shocked to see that even the villages that did not have electricity had soft drinks stored in ice-boxes. This is the impact of marketing as these companies were able to sell successfully even to areas without electric supply and lead the market.
Gradually, there are several local players who are emerging in the Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) industry and overtaking big shares of Multi-National Companies. There is gamut of factors through which local players can leave a huge impact on customers and set a strong niche in the market. Understanding different behavioral patterns is also an added advantage for these local companies, enabling them to connect with audiences through the entire look and feel. Huge presence of local companies and their traditional marketing methods has helped in bridging the gap between product knowledge and customer. This has a direct impact on the overall sales of international brands, as local companies are now emerging as powerful marketing players.
This situation has created a competitive environment amongst these companies and those who wish to lead in this domain need to consider plethora of factors. Local companies have started well and they are tough competition. However, in a longer run they must adopt several other ways of interacting with customers, employees as well as extended workforce. We have many examples where local brands have fallen flat on their faces even after a good start, the reason being lack of efficient training to staff about latest products and services. FMCG domain runs majorly on extended workforce and as companies grow, they should also invest on training their extended enterprise for improved business growth and productivity.
Local companies must adapt to technology and shift their focus to e-learning. A powerful and robust LMS (Learning Management Software) gives complete view of users’ requirements, helping organizations analyze their performance matrix. Implementation of latest learning technologies always helps companies standardize their training procedures and lead in today’s competitive world. I have been consulting FMCG companies in the same capacity and they also realize the strong influence of LMS on their overall business productivity and other compliances. In-order to increase their market share, technology is the prime key.
Till now, international brands have decided to wait and watch and not do anything specific to retain their market share apart from localizing their products according to the market conditions. As per my research, local companies will grab almost 25% of the market share of local companies, resulting in direct impact on the overall profitability of big brands. It is essential for international brands to align training with increasing learning needs to extended workforce. The competition is so tough that you must identify real time gaps and fix them quickly. For this, you need to bring all your extended workforce on a single platform, which is LMS, and update them regularly about new product updates and organizational objectives.
Suggested Further Reading: http://www.apfoodonline.com/index.php/features/item/1054-an-eye-on-the-future-of-southeast-asia-s-fmcg-industry