Many well-known consumer brands of the past are making a comeback in Viet Nam, indicating a new-found confidence on the part of local companies to take on multinational rivals.
At its annual general meeting earlier this year, the An Duong Trade and Investment Joint Stock Company suddenly announced plans to revive the once-popular Co Ba soap.– Photo plo.vn
At its annual general meeting earlier this year, the An Duong Trade and Investment Joint Stock Company suddenly announced plans to revive the once-popular Co Ba soap. The company is setting up a production line and distribution channel for the relaunch after a gap of one and a half years.
The green soap with the image of a woman with her hair in a bun used to dominate the Vietnamese market and was sold in Cambodia, Laos, Hong Kong and several African nations. It is set to return with its familiar look and fragrance.
The revival has caused some consternation because the company is in real estate and not in the consumer goods sector.
An Duong plans to study consumer reaction before deciding what strategy to take.
Da Lan toothpaste is another name from the past that is enjoying a renaissance. The brand had dominated the market in the early 1990s, but disappeared a few years later after entering into a joint venture with Colgate Palmolive.
It reappeared in 2009 when the joint venture was wound up, and it has struggled to survive since.
The product, along with other consumer goods made by International Cosmetics Company (ICC), has been sold mainly in rural areas.
However, while many people remain fond of the name Da Lan, the brand did disappear for a long time and customers meanwhile got used to names like Unilever and Colgate.
“We are preparing for sustainable sales of Da Lan,” Trinh Thanh Nhon, general director of ICC, told Nguoi Lao Dong (Labourers) newspaper.
With a distribution system now in place, ICC is focusing on technology, modern machinery, automatic equipment, management software, and IT applications.
“Careful preparation will help us to catch up with competitors,” Nhon said.
Lan Hao Cosmetics Production Ltd Co’s Thorakao is the only Vietnamese brand in the fiercely competitive cosmetics market, which is dominated by foreign products.
“We have been growing slowly but steadily growth,” Huynh Ky Tran, chairman of the company, said.
Long-time customers of Thorakao recall a small shop at the corner of Dien Bien Phu and Cach Mang Thang Tam streets in HCM City’s District 3, open from 8am to 5pm like an office.
But things are different now.
Recently the shop has been expanded and customers can now also buy Thorakao’s products online with better packaging.
“We focus on research,” Tran said.
“We do not spend on advertising and marketing. All we do is create good products, and customers will provide word-of-mouth publicity.”
He said the company’s growth is based entirely on quality and no other factor like marketing.
“We may not grow fast but are sustainable.”
Thorakao now has a range of customers like workers and rural women, overseas Vietnamese and artists.
“Workers and rural woman choose Thorakao because of the cheap prices, overseas Vietnamese and artists like Thorakaos natural materials and quality.”
But its cheap prices also pose a challenge to appealing to rich customers.
Sao Vang pain-relief balm used to be present in every Vietnamese household once upon a time. But sadly, over the years, it became just a memory until a year ago it made a comeback after the media discovered that it was sold on international e-commerce websites like Amazon and Ebay at US$5 – 7 for a box.
Since then local e-commerce websites have started selling Sao Vang glue at much cheaper prices, and one more legend has been reborn. -- VNS