Vietnamese products have been brewing in the American market in recent years, and it is just getting started. Goods and produce “Made in Vietnam” have become popular in the United States.
In 2017 alone, the US imported over $213 billion worth of Vietnam-made products in the country. The demand for Vietnamese products has become so notable that the United States has become the most important driver of Vietnam’s export engine. The US market now comprises two-thirds of Vietnam’s total export growth in 2019.
Popular products from Vietnam include electronics, furniture, clothing, footwear, and fish for Americans. It also is a key global exporter of coffee, rice, and other foods.
Made in Vietnam: Best Marketing Practices of Vietnamese Products in the US
1. Get to know your market
Starting from the basics, is there a demand for your product? Answering this is the first step to determine if you have a potential market to cater to. Remember that it is much easier to supply-demand than to create it.
And once you have found that demand for Vietnamese-origin products to the US, it is time to do market research.
Describe the type of individual or customer you would want to cater to. What is their age, ethnic, social, or economic group? Are they interested in the quality or story of your product? Where do these groups of people mostly shop? What makes your product different and desirable from the rest? Are you specifically targeting the Asian population in the US or expanding to an American market?
The greater the distance between the product origin and the market, the greater resources you need (in terms of time and costs) to get your products to consumers. Thus, it needs further market research than the normal locally sourced products. The goal of research at this point is to understand the market.
2. Strategize your entry
The market in the United States is fairly big and with its highly diverse population, you would need a different strategy compared to other more homogenous and local markets that we are used to. For instance, in some countries, people would rather buy directly in physical stores. But in the US, a bulk of shopping activities happen in online shops such as Amazon.
According to research, American consumers first go online to check prices and read customer reviews when they are interested in a product from a brand that they are not familiar with. This is why consumers usually refer to product listings such as that of Amazon. This could also give you an idea or a vague map of where your customers are usually based, from the West Coast to the East Coast.
3. Find a local scene
If you are considering an offline market, start locally in a potential community. Find a Vietnamese community in the US who might have an inherent or automatic appreciation of your products. If you cannot find any community in your desired location, try to find a large group of Chinese-speaking consumers. Although they’re not Vietnamese, this population could be your window as they might be more comfortable with Asian products.
Another strategy is to have more popup stores and engage in trade shows. In these events, you will find a network of people who are interested and serious in business. For all you know, these people could be your loyal customers or your future local distributors and investors. It is also in live and face-to-face events that you can engage with people, talk to local influencers, and get first-hand contact.
4. Standard and smart products
The consumer defines quality. The seller must always understand the customer’s requirements. Most markets in the US have very narrow ranges of acceptable quality. So you should uphold and maintain your own minimum standards and prices of your products.
Since your products are sourced elsewhere, ensure the seasonality of the product and the lead times required. If you still have to facilitate the movement of your products from overseas, you need to get it on time or even earlier.
5. Know your competition
Since Vietnamese-made products are popular in the US, you should also be keen on your competitions and their strategies to win. With a diverse market and one of the industrialized countries in the world, aim to find your niche in order to set yourself apart from your competitors.
Here are a number of questions you might ask concerning your competition.
- What products are competitive with ours?
- Who and where are our competitors from?
- How are their products being marketed?
- How and why does their marketing work or not work?
- What are the weak points in their marketing organization?
- What are their short- and long-range plans?
- How are their goods advertised?
In promoting Vietnamese products in the US, the journey is all about cultural learning on how to approach the market. And honestly, this process takes a long time and is extremely tedious in comparison with locally sourced or American products. Marketing and selling these products from Vietnam is not just about making good translations or tweaking the Vietnamese branding into something more American, but more about learning and servicing what the consumers are into.
With over a decade of solid experience, Marketin247 could help your business and organization grow and be the leader in your field. We can help in your marketing and build an effective brand that will cross borders and be successful in the US market. Contact us today!