Vietnam Market Column

Column by Q&Me researchers about Vietnam trend and insight.


How does Vietnamese see Japanese companies?

Vietnam is known as one of the “pro-Japanese” country. There are more than several cases that I hear Vietnamese people talk about Japan with positive impressions.


The stats that we had collected through Q&Me has endorsed its popularity. When we hear the images of Japanese companies, we see the respondents with positive replies.

In data, Japanese companies are associated with “good quality”, “performance-based evaluation” and “good management”. The data also shows that those who link Japanese companies with “conservative” or “bureaucracy” image, which are considered to be the common characteristics of Japanese enterprises, are quite limited. Well, it is super positive, and I have to say that the evaluation from Vietnamese are much better than we think of ourselves.


In this research, the respondents include 40% of those who know the friends working at Japanese companies, and a single number of those who actually work there. To the surprise, the stats from these groups are better than the average.


Most Japanese would see this result as over-compliment. I also do not think Japanese companies are equipped with “good management” or “performance-based evaluation”. Having said that, they may be more organised than most of the local companies here, which may have ended up with these series of popular replies.


When Vietnamese hear “Japanese companies”, “Toyota” and “Honda” are two brands that come up on their mind first. What follows are Sony, Ajinomoto and Toshiba. We see the companies known as “good technology” in the list.

Japanese products as well are associated with positive images. In Vietnam, Japanese products are synonyms of “high quality”. You would see the high numbers in such keywords as “hard to break” and “innovative”. What may be lacking is the image of “good design”. This keyword may have been associated better with European or Korean companies.

In Vietnam, I see the big gap of strong brand image of Japan and its exposure in the market. Korean has done a much better job especially in the field of entertainment, cosmetics and fashion. This gap could be taken as the positive opportunity and it is up to us how we could communicate the value of the products and services to Vietnamese consumers.


* The survey above was conducted among 500 full-time workers in Vietnam.


* The number in the question “what is the image of Japanese product” are the total number of those who “totally agree” or “agree”.

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